HRC36 Bahrain and Saudi Intervention: UK’s Complicity in GCC Rights Abuses

On 25 September, at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, an ADHRB Advocacy Associate delivered an oral intervention on the United Kingdom’s failure to address several of its UPR recommendations. The intervention, in particular addressed recommendations relating to the treatment of refugees and asylees and legal and policy concerns over the UK’s complicity in international human rights and international humanitarian law violations, maybe amounting to war crimes. Please continue reading for the full text of the intervention, or click here for a PDF of the text.

Mr. President,

Following the United Kingdom’s 3rd cycle UPR adoption, Alsalam Foundation and ADHRB would like to address several issues relating to UPR recommendations on treatment of refugees and asylees, as well as legal and policy concerns over complicity in international human rights and international humanitarian law violations.

First, we are concerned by reports that several subsets of asylum seekers from British allied Gulf countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates face an unduly extended processing and approval time, in some cases resulting in asylum seekers needing to leave the country. Second, we are alarmed by reports of attacks on Bahraini asylees in the United Kingdom by agents and officials of the Government of Bahrain that have yet gone without investigation.

We are also greatly concerned by the lack of any serious investigation into violations of international human rights law, international humanitarian law, possibly including war crimes, carried out by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during its hostilities in Yemen. As part of the UK’s ongoing arms export agreements with Saudi Arabia, the government of the United Kingdom has a responsibly to ensure that the government is not contributing to violations of international law, including potential crimes against humanity or war crimes.

We therefore call on the government of the United Kingdom to seriously undertake the task of fully implementing all of the minority recommendations accepted this week during its third cycle UPR.

Thank you.