Michael Payne Delivers Item 6 Oral Intervention at HRC27

On 22 September, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain Advocacy Associate Michael Payne delivered an oral intervention at the 27th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva under Item 6. Please continue reading here for his full remarks or click here to download a PDF.

الرجاء الضغط هنا لقراءة هذه الرسالة باللغة العربي


 Mr. Vice President,

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), together with the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), would like to call the Council’s attention to the status of Bahrain’s implementation of its 2012 Universal Periodic Review. Of the 158 recommendations addressing issues ranging from the use of torture and arbitrary detention to restrictions on free speech and assembly, Bahrain has thus far failed to effectively implement the vast majority of these recommendations.

In the past two years since the Government of Bahrain accepted 158 of 176 recommendations presented during their 2012 UPR Second Cycle, Bahrain has continued to ignore key deficiencies in the country’s human rights policies.  For example: the government accepted eight recommendations regarding restrictions on the ability of Bahraini mothers to pass their citizenship on to their children of non-Bahraini fathers. In accepting these recommendation, the Bahraini government noted that a draft law was already under consideration to address this issue.  However, this draft law was not submitted to the parliament until January of this year, and the parliament has yet to make any further progress towards enacting this legislation.

In the same time period, however, the Government of Bahrain has taken a number of steps which directly contradict core recommendations from its latest UPR.  Of particular concern has been the expeditious proposal, approval and enactment of a string of laws over the past 14 months, which expand Bahrain’s terrorism laws to greatly restrict free speech, press, association and assembly, as well as restricting civil society space.

We therefore call on Bahrain to take seriously both the letter and the spirit of the 158 recommendations it committed to effectively implementing in 2012, and to provide an aggressive and transparent timeline to fully implement the entirety of these recommendations.  We further call on the international community and OHCHR to continue to support concrete steps towards reform and further capacity building in Bahrain, with the aim of achieving the international standards of human rights that all Bahrainis deserve.

 Thank you.