HRC37 Intervention on Bahrain’s Failure to Implement its UPR Recommendations

On Monday 19  March during the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, Yusuf Alhoori delivered an oral intervention during the Item 6 General Debate on the Government of Bahrain’s refusal to implement its 3rd cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations. Alhoori noted that states recommended 176 reforms, including several in impunity, but that Bahrain brushed them off in a demonstration that it does not take the UPR process seriously. Click here for a PDF of his intervention in English and here for a PDF of his intervention in Arabic.

Mr. President

Alsalam and ADHRB call the Council’s attention to Bahrain’s recent 3rd cycle Universal Periodic Review in May 2017, and its abject failure to conform to human rights recommendations.

During Bahrain’s third UPR cycle, states offered 176 recommendations, many of which were related to previous, un-implemented recommendations. Among these recommendations were that Bahrain make reforms concerning freedom of expression, especially concerning freedom of the press. Within a month after their UPR, in June 2017 the government dissolved the last remaining independent newspaper, al-Wasat. A move with greater impact in 2018 as Bahrain moves toward parliamentary elections this year.

Further, many states recommended in the UPR that Bahrain address the issue of impunity – a recommendation that Bahrain again failed to meet. The government refuses to hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable at any level, from Nasser bin Hamad, the son of Bahrain’s king, down to individual prison guards. The government has consistently failed to prosecute torture and extrajudicial killing by state officials, even in high-profile cases like that of Ahmed Ismail, a journalist shot and killed by riot police in 2012.

Bahrain’s actions in these cases exhibit a clear failure to take seriously the UPR mechanism and the input of the international community. We call on Bahrain to fully implement all UPR recommendations and effectively combat impunity for widespread governmental human rights abuses.

Thank you.