6 March 2019 – Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) takes this opportunity at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council, during the Clustered Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Environment and on Housing to raise attention to the village of Ma’ameer in Bahrain. In the intervention ADHRB discusses the detrimental health impacts in relation to air and water pollution people are exposed to as a result of industrial activities. Please continue reading for the full text of the statement, or click here for a PDF.
Alsalam and ADHRB would like to thank Special Rapporteur Boyd for his report on the right to clean air, and wish to draw his attention to the village of Ma’ameer in Bahrain.
Ma’ameer contains a large industrial complex, including the State-owned Bahrain Petroleum Company and ALBA, one of the largest aluminum producers in the world and whose chairman is a member of the AlKhalifa ruling family. Residents of Ma’ameer have reported detrimental health impacts in relation to air and water pollution they are exposed to as a result of these industrial activities. Villagers report that fumes and smoke have led to an increase in cancer rates, child birth defects, and miscarriages of pregnancies. The residents of Ma’ameer have also reported that chemical waste from these companies are dumped into the ocean and have resulted in the death of aquatic life in the area.
There have been some environmental activists in Bahrain who have campaigned for Ma’ameer’s pollution to be addressed by the government. One such activist, Mohamed Khadim Muhsin Zain Aldeen, was among five protestors shot and killed when Bahraini security forces raided a sit-in in the village of Duraz in May 2017. Recently a Bahraini Court convicted 170 Bahraini individuals for their role in these protests, rather than holding the security forces accountable.
Mr. Rapporteur, given the incredible risks to both local residents and environmental activists dedicated to addressing toxic byproducts of a State’s primary economic industries, we were distressed to see Bahrain listed in your report as a country that has developed plans to improve air quality. We ask – will your office follow up on these plans, to ensure that they are in place, particularly in villages like Ma’ameer?