Today, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) delivered an oral intervention at the 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council during the General Debate under Item 6. ADHRB raised concerns over Bahrain’s failure to comply with the 2017 UPR Recommendations.
Click here for the PDF format and find below the oral statement.
As Bahrain reaches the mid-point of its 3 rd cycle UPR, we would like to raise concerns over its failure to comply with the recommendations it received during its 2017 review.
In 2017, authorities carried out the first executions in seven years, killing three Shia men who had been tortured and convicted in unfair trials. That same year, Bahrain passed a constitutional amendment that allows military courts to try civilians even when martial law is not in effect.
The government has also imposed stricter restrictions on the freedom of expression, association and assembly. It dissolved the major opposition parties, Al-Wefaq and Wa’ad, ordered the closure of the last independent newspaper Al-Wasat, and more recently in May and June 2019, amended the counter-terror law to include social media posts as potential terror crimes. While the government had increasingly restricted the right to free expression, this move to criminalize social media posts under the counter-terror law represents an even more draconian policy.
Mass trials also became commonplace in Bahrain in 2018 and 2019. The government held five mass trials over these two years, with 505 individuals sentenced amid accusations of torture and fair trial rights. Ali AlArab and Ahmed AlMalali were two of those convicted in mass trials. They were sentenced to death in January 2018 and later executed in July 2019.
We call upon Bahrain to comply with its UPR recommendations, and we call upon the members of the Council to hold Bahrain accountable for its failure to implement reform.