On 19 March, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 46 during interactive debate under item 8.
The Implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action calls for democracy, the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Yet, democracy is only possible if people are allowed to freely express themselves and to fully participate in society.
In Bahrain, citizens who want democracy are punished by the authorities. During the pro-democracy movement in 2011, the unelected ruler, King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, called on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to march into Bahrain and implement a violent crackdown on Bahraini civilians. Thousands of protesters were arrested and hundreds remain in prison today.
This included individuals like human rights defender Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, and political leader Hassan Mushaima, who were both sentenced to life in prison for leading these calls for democratic change.
The Al-Khalifa royal family is a brutal regime that would not have been able to maintain its iron grip without the intervention of Saudi and Emirati forces, as well as the unconditional security, military, and economic support from the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Council should remind those countries to stop supporting perpetrators of human rights abuses in Bahrain. The international community must respect the needs and desires of the Bahraini people to finally achieve democracy and self-determination.