Today, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) delivered an oral intervention at the 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council under the General Debate of item 5 highlighting how Bahrain has been torturing its prisoners and cracking down on civil society.
Click here for the PDF of the submitted statement.
Please find the statement below.
Bahrain was elected to the Human Rights Council in October 2018 on a blank slate. Since then, it has continued to engage in behaviour that does not befit its status as a member.
In January 2019, Bahraini courts upheld the sentences for political prisoner Sheikh Ali Salman and human rights defender Nabeel Rajab. Four months later, the King amended Bahrain’s counter-terror legislation to allow the government to prosecute individuals as terrorists for tweets. In July 2019, Bahrain executed torture victims Ali AlArab and Ahmed AlMalali, despite an international outcry, including from the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions. Just last month, over 600 Bahraini prisoners launched a hunger strike protesting prison conditions, including religious restrictions.
Bahrain has continued to use mass trials, convicting 306 people in two trials alone amid accusations of torture. In addition, prison officials continue to deny prisoners adequate healthcare. For example, Hassan Mushaima, a prominent political prisoner serving a life sentence, suffers from numerous ailments for which he is not allowed to receive adequate care. Dr. Abduljalil Alsingace, another prominent political prisoner serving life in prison also suffers from numerous ailments like post-polio syndrome which keeps him confined to a wheelchair. However, authorities use his disability against him, including to enhance his suffering.
Bahrain’s behaviour since its election demonstrates its disregard for human rights, and constitutes a rejection of the promises made during its candidacy. This Council must take action, invoke GA Resolution 60/251, and eject Bahrain from the Council.