WASHINGTON, DC – December 11, 2013 –Yesterday marked the twentieth anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Day and the fifty-fifth anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A time for reflection, we pause to acknowledge the successes made by champions of human rights and to remember our shared duty in addressing the challenges still present. Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) commemorates the effort and sacrifice of those who have worked to secure inalienable rights for all.
“Human rights are due to every person regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation,” said ADHRB Executive Director Husain Abdulla. “These are not given by a country, a king, or even a UN document; human rights are universal and cannot be revoked through violence or disregard so often utilized by repressive regimes.”
In Bahrain, the ongoing struggle for respect of human rights continues unabated. Many human rights activists campaigning for a safe and free Bahrain face slander, death threats, arbitrary detention, public humiliation, tear gas raids, and torture. Nabeel Rajab, ADHRB’s December ‘Champion for Justice’, has worked tirelessly to raise public awareness of rights abuses by the authorities. Due solely to his activism and promotion of human rights, Nabeel is currently serving a two-year sentence and was recently denied early release.
International activists and observers continue to be targeted by the Bahrain government as well. Just this week, British human rights lawyer Pete Weatherby was deported after attempting to observe the trial of Khalil Marzooq, an opposition party leader arrested for exercising his right to free speech by calling for peaceful democratic reform. International observers, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, have voiced serious concern regarding the human rights situation in Bahrain. Among those is UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez, whose visit to Bahrain has been twice rejected by the Bahrain government.
“Just as human rights are universal, so too must be the struggle for respect and recognition of those rights,” said Abdulla. “On this Human Rights Day, we recognize the tremendous task undertaken by those who work for the promotion and protection of human rights in Bahrain and express heartfelt gratitude for these selfless acts, both in Bahrain and abroad, in support of the rights of all Bahrainis.”
Please click here for a PDF of this statement.
الرجاء الضغط هنا لقراءة هذه الرسالة باللغة العربي