HRC36 Bahrain Intervention: Item 10 and Bahrain’s Cooperation with OHCHR

On 28 September, at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, Yusuf al-Hoori delivered an oral intervention on behalf of ADHRB during the Item 10 General Debate. In his intervention, al-Hoori highlighted the Bahraini government’s failure to comprehensively and transparently cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Please continue reading for the full text of his intervention or click here for a PDF of his remarks.

­Mr. President,­

Alsalam and ADHRB would like to take this opportunity to address the issue of technical cooperation with OHCHR. We commend all states that choose to engage with OHCHR and the special procedures in a constructive and transparent manner. We strongly believe that such engagement is crucial to improve the human rights situations in the respective countries.

However, it is important to stress that such a cooperation must not serve as window-dressing for the governments. In this regard, we would like to applaud the High Commissioner’s opening statement this session where he highlighted the Government of Bahrain’s obstructionism following hollow calls for cooperation with his office. We encourage OHCHR to remain committed to their comprehensive approach to technical assistance and capacity building, and their insistence on the inclusion and protection of independent civil society. The High Commissioner is right to only engage in assistance based on“genuine efforts to reform.”

We call on the government of Bahrain to work toward carrying out genuine efforts for human rights reforms, and to welcome the comprehensive and transparent cooperation of OHCHR, including full access to all sectors of society and a full reporting mandate for any technical assistance program. Only through tangible evidence of reform efforts can the proper conditions for a successful technical cooperation program be established. OHCHR must continue to insist that their efforts not result in only superficial gestures to whitewash systematic human rights abuses.

Thank you.

Photo by Moosa Mohammed