Geneva, Switzerland – 10 June 2014 – Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) praises the coalition of 47 United Nations (U.N.) Member States who joined in supporting a joint statement expressing serious concern over the human rights situation in Bahrain. The statement –the fourth joint statement to come out of the U.N. Human Rights Council since 2012 on Bahrain –cites a litany of ongoing human rights abuses ranging from the repression of demonstrations to ongoing reports of torture, and calls on the Government of Bahrain to take concrete steps in addressing the ongoing crisis. The statement was delivered (begin 02:25:22) by Ambassador Alexandre Fasel of Switzerland.
Under the committed leadership of Switzerland, the 47 countries to join this statement represent a cross-regional coalition of concerned States from Western and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the United States. The list of concerns raised include: restrictions on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association, expression, and the press, as well as a lack of fair trials or judicial accountability for human rights violators. The concerned States call upon the Government of Bahrain “to address these concerns and expedite the full implementation of the recommendations received from the BICI and the UPR recommendations accepted by Bahrain by undertaking further measures, in particular amending or repealing legal provisions that unduly restrict human rights, and urges the Bahraini government “to further enhance its cooperation with the OHCHR and the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council and reschedule previously planned visits as soon as possible.” Finally, the joint statement calls upon the Government of Bahrain to allow the OHCHR “to establish a country office with a full mandate.”
“We are proud that the international community recognizes the severity of the political and human rights crisis facing Bahrain,” said ADHRB Executive Director Husain Abdulla. “The extensive list of human rights challenges in Bahrain can only be addressed through the transparent implementation of meaningful reforms. We hope that the Bahraini government will use this opportunity to reverse its decent toward instability in favor of accountability and a respect for the rights of all Bahrainis,” said Abdulla.
ADHRB lauds the Swiss-led coalition of concerned States for their joint statement on Bahrain. At the same time, we remained concerned over prematurely praising the roles of the Office of the Police Ombudsman and the Special Investigations Unit given lingering questions regarding their impartiality and independence. Furthermore, ADHRB would like to note that while OHCHR has held consultations with the Bahraini Parliament on the legal structure of the NIHR, the NIHR has not yet achieved independence as defined under the Paris Principles, and has not sought OHCHR accreditation.
ADHRB praises the 47 Member States for their commitment to promoting and protecting human rights in Bahrain, and looks forward to the implementation of critical reforms by the Bahraini government to address the political and human rights crisis in the country. ADHRB applauds OHCHR’s strong commitment to engage with and to promote the protection of human rights in Bahrain.
Please click here for a PDF of this statement.
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الرجاء الضغط هنا لقراءة هذه الرسالة باللغة العربي