On 18 March, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) Advocacy Associate Michael Payne delivered an oral statement (starting at 2:23:45) at the 25th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva under Item 4 regarding the human rights situation in Bahrain. Please continue reading for full remarks or click here to download a PDF.
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), with the support of Alsalam Foundation, would like bring to the Council’s attention, the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain. While Bahrain has vowed to improve the status of human rights in the country by accepting the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and its Second Cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the effective status of human rights in the country continues to decline.
Ongoing violations of human rights in Bahrain, as noted in its 2012 UPR and by various representatives of the UN Special Procedures, continues to include the use of torture, arbitrary detention, restrictions on the freedoms of assembly, expression and the press, as well as greater restrictions on civil society and reprisals against human rights defenders.
Prominent peaceful activists from across Bahraini society remain in prison on charges related to their work. These prisoners of conscience include human rights defenders Nabeel Rajab & Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, Professor Abduljalil Singace, Dr. Ali Alekri MD, photojournalist Hussain Hubail, and the head of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association, Mahdi Abu Dheeb.
We also note with great concern that since 2006 none of the UN Special Procedures have been able to visit Bahrain to follow up on the growing number of reports of human rights violations their offices continue to receive. Of particular concern is the twice-canceled visit of the Special Rapporteur on Torture, Mr. Juan Mendez. We call on the Council to strongly encourage Bahrain to give its full and immediate cooperation to the various Special Procedures, especially the Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Indeed, the case of human rights in Bahrain is urgent. We further urge the Council to work with the Bahrain Government to encourage the release of all political prisoners and to establish a permanent OHCHR office in Bahrain with a full reporting and investigatory mandate.
الرجاء الضغط هنا لقراءة هذه الرسالة باللغة العربي