HRC32: ADHRB calls attention to violations of freedom of assembly in Bahrain

On June 20, ECDHR associate Diam Abou-Diab delivered an oral intervention on behalf of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain at the 32nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva under Item 3. Please continue reading for full remarks or click here to download a PDF.

Mr. President,

Alsalam Foundation, together with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, are forced to present this intervention on behalf of Abdulhadi al-Mushaima, who was placed under travel ban along with his wife last weekend and they were unable to come here to share this message with the Council.

“We thank you, Mr. Rapporteur, for your dedication to promoting peaceful assembly around the world. I would like to raise our concern about ongoing violations of freedom of assembly in Bahrain.

In 2011, Bahrainis from all backgrounds publically called for democratic reforms & human rights and dignity for all. On February 14, 2011, Bahraini riot police shot and killed my son Ali Mushaima as he took part in a peaceful protest. He was 21.

I welcome the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly’s efforts to address violations of this right in Bahrain. For example, Bahraini security forces killed Ali as he exercised his internationally recognized right to protest. Security forces shot Ali with birdshot pellets fired at close range. Ali was unarmed. He died from injuries on the way to the hospital.

Bahraini security forces added further insult to our grieving community by assaulting my son’s funeral procession. Security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the attendees and killed Fadhel al-Matrook.

Further still, the Bahraini government further reduced the sentence of the police officer responsible for the death of my son. The High Criminal Court of Bahrain devalued my son’s life and reduced the police officer’s seven-year sentence to just three years.

Given the numerous deaths of peaceful protesters like my son, we ask you, Mr. Rapporteur, to comment on the total closing of public space our country and to recommend what should be done to rebuild the right to freedom of assembly in Bahrain.

Thank you.