WASHINGTON, DC – October 24, 2013 – On this day in 1945 the United Nations was chartered by fifty one nations seeking international peace and stability. Today, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) would like to join the now 193 Member States of the United Nations and the international community in celebrating the past achievements of the United Nations and recognizing mutual aims and obligations to “peace, development, and human rights” that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for on this holiday.
The United Nations was founded with the aim of securing lasting world peace and provides a forum for states to achieve consensus on pressing international concerns such as international security, human rights, and political liberties. The United Nations also serves as a venue for countries to express their concerns regarding the situation in Bahrain. This September 9th, forty-seven Member States submitted a joint statement during the 24th session of the Human Rights Council expressing concerns over the newly-instituted ‘anti-terror’ legislation in Bahrain. Included among these concerns is the revocation of citizenship causing statelessness, targeting of human rights defenders, and a lack accountability of rights violators with the security forces. Additionally, the High Commissioner on Human Rights, Navi Pillay, reminded the Government of Bahrain of the fundamental right to nationality.
“The United Nations has made unprecedented advances in bringing the issue of human dignity to the global agenda,” stated Husain Abdulla, ADHRB Executive Director. “The spirit of common humanity embodied by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights grants all people the hope of a freer, safer world. For oppressed peoples, the legitimacy of the United Nations lends gravity to the international obligations to preserve the rights of all persons. Even in the case of insular governments like that of Bahrain, global pressure serves to secure human rights when abusive regimes realize the world will not overlook atrocity.”
The situation in Bahrain today warrants concern from the international community, as the Government of Bahrain has failed to implement previously accepted recommendations from its 2012 United Nations Universal Periodic Review concerning systematic human rights abuses. The detention of political opponents and human rights defenders persists, as evidenced in the high-profile cases of Khalil al Marzooq and Mohammed al Maskati. Security forces have yet to be held accountable for abuses, as highlighted in the reduction of the prison sentence for the officer responsible for the death Ali Mushaima. Incidents of torture are commonplace, as in the case of human rights activist Naji Fateel; as are incidents of gross negligence of ailing prisoners, evidenced by the tragic death of Yousef al Nashmi.
“The people of Bahrain continue to suffer for their determination to demand basic human rights, and the international community must raise its voice in support of their struggle,” Abdulla said, “We applaud the appeals already made by the United Nations agencies & Member States to bring both genuine scrutiny to those responsible for violations, as well as institutional changes to promote accountability, transparency, and protection of human rights in Bahrain. However, on this United Nations Day, let the international community reaffirm its support for the universal human rights that bind us together and apply firm pressure on the Bahrain government to stop abusing the human rights of its own people.”
Please click here for a PDF of this statement.