HRC34 Oral Interventions: Item #5 on Reprisals in Bahrain

On 17 March 2017, Ahmed Maki delivered an oral intervention at the 34th session of the Human Rights Council under Item 5. In his intervention, Ahmed addressed the trend of acts of reprisals against individuals engaging with the Human Rights Council, in particular Bahrain’s escalating reprisals against people engaging with the Council, beginning in 2014 and continuing to today.

Mr. President,

We wish to call the Council’s attention to the deeply concerning trend by a number of states in committing acts of reprisals against individuals engaging with the Human Rights Council. Acts of reprisals must never be tolerated, and are wholly unacceptable. We call on your office, along with the Secretariat, to publically identify for the record and vocally condemn states that carry out acts of reprisals against this Council.

For example, the Kingdom of Bahrain has, over the past several HRC sessions, established a clear pattern of escalating reprisals in relation to the HRC. Beginning in 2014 with threats of reprisals against individuals attending the Council, Bahrain’s reprisals expanded to blanket travel bans against all civil and political societies attempting to engage in 2016. This session, Bahrain has carried out serious acts of intimidation, arrest, torture and ill-treatment against family members in Bahrain of human rights defenders and activists taking part in this HRC session.

Mr. President, threats, travel bans, collective punishment, torture and arbitrary detention should never be the end-result for anyone seeking to exercise their rights here at the Human Rights Council. We therefore call on your office, and the Secretariat, to vocally and publically condemn these specific acts of reprisals during this Council session.

Thank you.