On 12 September, Bahraini lawyer Mohammed al-Tajer delivered an oral intervention (33:31) at the 27th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva under Agenda Item 3 during a Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. Please continue reading for full remarks or click here to download a PDF.
الرجاء الضغط هنا لقراءة هذه الرسالة باللغة العربي
Alsalam Foundation, together with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, the Bahrain Human Rights Observatory, and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, would like to call the Council’s attention to recent acts of enforced disappearance in Bahrain, allegedly carried out by persons affiliated with the Government. The Government continues to violate protections guaranteed by both the UDHR and the ICCPR.
The Government of Bahrain claims to have implemented reforms based on the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry’s findings, including “that the Government of Bahrain concealed or withheld from detainees and/or their families information about […] detained persons’ whereabouts…” However, its actions prove otherwise. ADHRB has documented dozens of human rights defenders, bloggers, journalists, and other Bahrainis who have been victims of enforced disappearance.
Ahmed al-Arab, 22 years old, is among those who have recently experienced enforced disappearance in Bahrain. On 9 January 2014, Bahraini security forces arrested Ahmed while he was at a relative’s house. Ahmed was then disappeared by the security forces until 29 January. In the course of his detention, Ahmed was tortured by security forces, during which they extracted a forced confession from him. Ahmed has yet to receive a trial.
Ahmed’s experience is not unique; it is part of a larger pattern of enforced disappearance in Bahrain. Dozens of Bahrainis have had similar experiences; in most cases, Bahrainis are disappeared for short-periods of time, lasting anywhere from 12 hours to four weeks, and are subjected to measures of torture during their disappearances.
We ask that the Working Group use its position to comment on enforced disappearances in Bahrain and to request a visit to Bahrain in order to assess enforced disappearances in the country.