WASHINGTON, DC – October 25, 2013 – Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) applauds Juan Mendez, the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, for his remarks this week at the United Nations Third Committee regarding the repeated cancelation of his planned visit to assess the state of torture and cruel treatment of detainees in Bahrain. ADHRB additionally applauds 10 United Nations Member States and the European Union for their remarks in support of Special Rapporteur Mendez’s continued pursuit of his mandate despite obfuscation from the Government of Bahrain.
“We applaud these nations for voicing their support for Special Rapporteur Mendez and his commitment to shed light on human rights abuses in Bahrain,” said ADHRB Director Husain Abdulla. “The people of Bahrain remain resolute in their struggle to achieve respect for basic human rights in the face of a government that continues to enjoy impunity for repression and abuse.”
Special Rapporteur Mendez said that, “the visit [to Bahrain] has been postponed by the government for a second time, again at very short notice. I consider the postponement an effective cancellation, as no new dates have been proposed.” The Special Rapporteur added, “I would have conducted my visit in the spirit of cooperation and expected the government to share that approach… Regrettably, that does not appear to be the case.”
The representative from the United Kingdom, the first to engage Special Rapporteur Mendez in the interactive dialogue, noted the need for enhanced cooperation between Bahrain and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and expressed concern over the cancellation of the Special Rapporteur’s visits.
Speaking on behalf of Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland, as well as his country, the representative from Liechtenstein raised concerns previously mentioned in a joint statement signed by these States, as well as 38 others, at the Human Rights Council in September 2013, and noted the “continuing reports about the physical and psychological abuse and mistreatment of prisoners in Bahrain.”
The representative from Liechtenstein also noted that Member States “have yet to receive independent information about how the government of Bahrain intends to end impunity for human rights violations, in particular those falling under your mandate, in practice,” concluding that a visit to Bahrain by Special Rapporteur Mendez “could provide such information and does contribute to constructive engagement and political reconciliation within the framework of the national dialogue.”
Special Rapporteur Mendez addressed the concerns raised by member states and stated that his office continues, “To daily receive new information regarding arrest, ill treatment, [and] excessive use of force in the repression of demonstrations [in Bahrain],” noting that “there has been no positive decision regarding judicial sentencing and convictions where confessions and other statements [were] obtained under torture.” He confirmed that his office “will continue to follow the developments based on information from many sources, but my office and I myself could better analyze the information if I could actually visit the country.”
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الرجاء الضغط هنا لقراءة هذه الرسالة باللغة العربي