Obama condemns violence against protesters
US President Barack Obama on Friday condemned the use of violence against protesters in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen and urged governments to exercise restraint in responding to peaceful demonstrations calling for democratic reforms, DPA reported.
"I am deeply concerned by reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen," Obama said in a statement. "The United States condemns the use of violence by governments against peaceful protesters in those countries and wherever else it may occur."
The United States has spoken out in favor of the protesters' rights to peacefully assemble as the demonstrations that have swept through the Middle East broke out last month.
Yemen has partnered with the US in the war on terrorism, while Bahrain is a close US ally and host the Navy's Fifth Fleet headquarters.
"Wherever they are, people have certain universal rights including the right to peaceful assembly," Obama said. "The United States urges the governments of Bahrain, Libya and Yemen to show restraint in responding to peaceful protests, and to respect the rights of their people."
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton telephoned Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid al-Khalifa on Thursday to convey deep concerns about the steps taken by Bahrain's security forces against the protesters.