On June 24, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy participated in an Interactive Dialogue on arbitrary detention and torture at the 29th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Please continue reading for full remarks or click here to download a PDF.

الرجاء الضغط هنا لقراءة هذه الرسالة باللغة العربي

Mr. President,

Alsalam Foundation together with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), call the Council’s attentions to remarkable deterioration of the human rights crisis in Bahrain thus far in 2015. The government of Bahrain has increased the severity of its crackdown against human rights in the country to unprecedented levels.

In 2011, the Bahraini government used arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, excessive force, and torture in response to a widespread peaceful protest movement calling for reforms. Today, these practices are systematic and unrelenting.

In 2011, Bahrain arrested, tortured, and sentenced leading peaceful human rights activists like Abduljalil al-Singace and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja along with hundreds of other protestors. Today, the numbers of political prisoners sentenced for free expression and assembly has grown to over three-and-a-half-thousand, and includes all of the most prominent human rights defenders in the country, including Nabeel Rajab.

Even as late as last year, the government had arbitrarily stripped a total of 52 Bahrainis of their native-born citizenship for their human rights activism or opposition to the government. This year so far, Bahrain stripped over 100 additional human rights defenders or activists of their citizenship, myself included.

Before this year, only 3 Bahrainis faced death sentences. In 2015, that number has more than doubled. And every case that has been sentenced to death has faced torture to coerce confessions.

Last year, the opposition and the government sat in dialogue. Now the opposition leaders sit in jail.

Mr. President,

In the face of such institutionalized human rights abuses, we call on the Council to act, by creating a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Bahrain.

Thank you.