Today, an oral intervention was delivered at the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council under Item 3’s General Debate. The intervention highlighted poor prison conditions in Bahrain and that there is ongoing religious discrimination, reprisals, impunity and police brutality. A letter from Mohammad Mirza was also read which highlighted how unfair trials are the means to which the government detain and imprison individuals that a critical of the government or the monarchy.

Click here for the PDF and you can find the oral statement below.

Mr. President-

We would like to thank the mandates of the Special Procedures for their work and raise concerns about poor conditions, ongoing religious discrimination, reprisals, impunity, and police brutality in Bahraini prisons. During the High Level Segment, Mr. Abdulatif Alzayani the Foreign Minister of Bahrain played down the human rights situation in his country.

In this context, I would like to read a letter we recently received from one of the political prisoners in Bahrain, Mohammad Mirza. I quote:

Mr. President/members of the Human Rights Council,

I am addressing your body today from the notorious Jau prison where thousands of political prisoners are arbitrary detained and deprived of their liberty and universal human rights. I was declared arbitrarily detained by the Working Group.

I am not exaggerating when I say every prisoner has been tortured and physically abused by Bahraini security forces.

I know that I speak for thousands of political prisoners when I say we never received a fair trial. We have repeatedly made complaints to the setting judge, who is a member of the Alkhalifa tribe, that we have been tortured and forced to sign confessions, but he ignored our concerns and sentenced us to years in prison, destroying our lives because we participated in the pro-democracy movement.

Therefore, we call on the Council to hold the Government of Bahrain accountable and suspend its current membership of the Human Rights Council till it releases all political prisoners and ends the culture of impunity.

Thank you!