On 20 March 2017, Nader Almatrook delivered an oral intervention during the 34th session of the Human Rights Council on behalf of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. In his intervention, Nader addressed Bahrain’s failure to implement key elements of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, particularly as concerns protecting the right to self-determination. Please continue reading for the full text of his remarks or click here for a PDF of his intervention.
We would like to express concern regarding the failure to implement key elements of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action by a number of states. We are particularly concerned by failures to protect the right of self-determination.
For example, Bahrain continues to deny its majority-Shia population the right of self-determination. Bahrain prevents the effective political participation of Shia citizens through laws that restrict free expression, association, and assembly. Voting irregularities and government gerrymandering have deprived Bahrain’s Shias of adequate political representation. Bahraini authorities have arrested opposition figures, including Hassan Mushaima, Abdulwahab Husain, and Sheikh Ali Salman, for peacefully calling for democracy in Bahrain.
We are concerned that the oppression and marginalization of Bahrain’s Shia population prevents its members from freely determining their political status and restricts their ability to pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.
We therefore call on Bahrain and all members of the international community to take immediate and effective steps towards realizing the principles and objectives of the VDPA, particularly those concerning the right of self-determination.