On 29 September 2020, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 45 during Sweden’s UPR.
We would like to begin our intervention by welcoming the Swedish delegation hoping that they conduct a national plan to implement the accepted recommendations.
We have deep concerns about the lack of seriousness that the Swedish government has shown toward crimes committed against the Muslim and immigrants’ population in the country. The rates of these hate crimes has increased in the last several years in a disturbing trend, the Swedish government failed in showing strong and effective leadership in protecting these fragile groups essentially failing in doing one of the most basic role of a government and that is to protect its citizens and residents against crimes driven by ethnic and religious hate. What is even more disturbing is that some of these groups which committed or advocated for violent act against Muslims and immigrants receiving funding from the Swedish government under different social programs despite their involvement in anti-immigrants and anti-Muslims activities.
Counter-terrorism and human rights violations is another concerning issue. The Swedish government has exercised a blanket authority of arrest and interrogating many Muslims and immigrants without granting them their right and due process. This practice must be addressed at the core by the Swedish government.
The Swedish government failed to protect its citizens who has been arrested and tortured on charges solely for exercising their freedom of expression. Shaikh Mohammad Habib Al-Muqdad a Swedish citizen and Mr. Khalil Al-Halwachi a legal resident has been arrested and severely tortured by the Bahraini authorities. Despite numerous attempts by family members and NGOs asking the Swedish government to secure their release the lack of movement by the Swedish government is very disturbing. One prominent Swedish MP indicated that both of these individual did not receive the proper legal protection because they were immigrants. So we would like to ask the Swedish delegation if they will publically commit toward working on releasing Swedish citizen and resident arrested illegally in Bahrain?