WASHINGTON, DC – April 22, 2013 – On April 19, the US Department of State released the 2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. ADHRB applauds the department’s report on Bahrain, which highlighted what the State Department called “serious human rights problems,” including citizens’ inability to change their government peacefully.
“We thank Secretary of State John Kerry for the release of the 2012 Country Reports and are very pleased to see that the report on Bahrain included an in-depth analysis of ongoing human rights problems in Bahrain,” said ADHRB Director Husain Abdulla. “It is encouraging to note the high priority the administration has placed on human rights, and we applaud Secretary Kerry for making the case that our national security is strengthened, not weakened, when we promote human rights around the world,” Abdulla said.
The Bahrain country report, which examined topics ranging from torture and ill-treatment to political discrimination and workers’ rights, found that the Government of Bahrain frequently did not respect its own laws regarding human rights, let alone the standards set by international human rights treaties. The report highlighted cases of arbitrary arrest and detention, restrictions placed on freedom of speech, press, and assembly, and the use of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, among other rights abuses.
The report also noted that the Bahrain government had failed to comply with recommendations made by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), a body established by the king of Bahrain to address the causes of the 2011 protests. In particular, the report highlighted the use of torture and unlawful interrogation at unofficial detention facilities, the lack of accountability for torture and abuse by law enforcement officials, and continued attempts to silence free speech through prosecution—all issues addressed by the BICI which the Government of Bahrain has promised, but failed, to address.
“The State Department has provided an accurate assessment of the ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain. The Obama administration must now use the findings to pressure the Government of Bahrain to bring an end to these abuses and to enact lasting reforms,” Abdulla said.
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