Today, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) delivered an oral intervention at the 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council under General Debate of item 4. ADHRB highlighted how the Bahraini Ministry of Interior (MOI) has been complicit in most human rights violations without being held accountable. ADHRB urges the Council to impose sanctions on key individuals of the MOI who have been abusing these rights.

Click here for the PDF of the submitted statement.

 

Please find the statement below.

Mr. President,

We would like to bring to the Council’s attention the systematic human rights violations committed by Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior and the impunity that its officers enjoy.

Since 2011, the MOI has committed more than 3,000 human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, torture, rape, and extrajudicial killings. MOI officials also play an important role in ongoing religious discrimination, arresting and detaining religious leaders and clerics during Ashura, interrupting religious processions, and harassing members of Bahrain’s Shia community during prayer times.

Despite this, the Bahraini government has refused to hold MOI officials accountable. By the end of 2017, only five percent of reported human rights abuse violations by MOI officials were referred for serious prosecution. Instead, MOI officials involved with these violations have received promotions.

The MOI’s abuse of power is not possible without Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah AlKhalifa’s knowledge and approval. He, along with other high ranking officials, including Tariq AlHassan, Abdullah AlZayed, Ebrahim Habib AlGhaith, Abdulsalam Yousef AlOraifi, and Adnan Bahar, have committed human rights violations in support of the MOI’s goal: enforcing compliance with the government through state oppression.

The international community cannot accept the ongoing human rights abuses committed by Bahrain’s MOI. We urge the Council to refer Bahrain to the UN General Assembly and Security for the imposition of sanctions on the MOI’s key officials and we urge all states to suspend all assistance to the MOI until it implements concrete reforms and ends impunity.

Thank you.