HRC37 Intervention on Bahrain’s refusal to cooperate with OHCHR

On Thursday 22 March 2018 during the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, Yusuf al-Hoori delivered an oral intervention on behalf of ADHRB addressing Bahrain’s refusal to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in facilitating a technical program of assistance to improve the kingdom’s abysmal human rights record. Click here for a PDF of his intervention in English and here for a PDF of his intervention in Arabic.

Mr. President,

We remain greatly concerned at the Kingdom of Bahrain’s failure to cooperate with OHCHR to address the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain. Despite continued statements of concern and condemnation by this Office, Bahrain fails to actively engage with OHCHR, and the citizens of Bahrain suffer as a result.

The Bahraini government perpetually claims to seek cooperation with OHCHR and human rights mechanisms. Yet the government refuses to engage with Special Procedures in good faith. In recent years, Bahrain has twice cancelled the visit of the previous Special Rapporteur on torture, and no Special Procedures mechanism has been permitted to visit Bahrain since 2006.

The Bahraini government has also failed to cooperate with the High Commissioner himself – though requesting a visit to Bahrain, the government refused to allow an OHCHR technical team to visit and assess the human rights situation. Instead, the Foreign Minister himself made public statements attacking credibility and competence of the High Commissioner, violating basic diplomatic norms.

Given the widespread and systematic abuses in Bahrain, it is paramount that Bahrain commits itself to positive, constructive and proactive engagement with both this Council and the Special Procedures. We therefore call on Bahrain to issue standing invitations to any mandate to visit the kingdom, and seek genuine cooperation with OHCHR.

Thank you.