Today, an oral intervention was delivered at the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, under Item 3’s Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Torture. The intervention focused on the arrest and detention of Bahraini activists who have been detained and tortured for their engagement with the Human Rights Council.

 

Please continue reading for the full text of the statement, or click here for a PDF of the remarks.

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Mr. Rapporteur,

We would like to bring the Council’s attention to the cases of four women who have been subjected to abuse and torture by the Bahraini government, including in acts of reprisals.

In May 2017, Bahraini officials summoned human rights defender Ebtisam AlSaegh for interrogation at the Muharraq police station after she returned from participating in the 34th session of the Human Rights Council. There officers from the National Security Agency detained and interrogated her for seven hours and physically, verbally, psychologically and sexually assaulted and abused her in an effort to stop her from pursuing human rights advocacy and to obtain information on her engagement with international human rights organizations and the Human Rights Council.

The Bahraini government also arrested Hajer Mansoor, the mother-in-law of Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, a London-based Bahraini human rights activist, for her son-in-law’s work. During interrogation, Mansoor was subjected to physical and verbal abuse. Bahrain’s Court of Cassation confirmed her conviction, despite the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention finding her imprisonment to be arbitrary and an act of reprisal.

In Isa Town Women’s Prison, officials targeted Mansoor and her two cell-mates, activists Najah Yusuf and Medina Ali in an act of reprisal after the UN Assistant Secretary-General’s September 2018 report called attention to their cases. The three women were beaten and detained in solitary confinement, after which Mansoor was hospitalized.

We remain concerned for AlSaegh, Mansoor, Yusuf, and Ali and we ask the Rapporteur what obligations does Council Membership have to respect and promote human rights and prevent torture?

Thank you.