HRC 46: ADHRB raises the Culture of Impunity among officials in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

 On 16 March, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 46 during interactive debate under item 4.

Madam President-

We would like raise the issue of ongoing systematic human rights violations in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Particularly the issue of thousands of political prisoners and human rights defenders.

In Bahrain, Mr. Hasan Mushima the leader of the political opposition in Bahrain and his co-leader Mr. Abdulwahab Husain have been sentenced to life imprisonment because they led the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain in February of 2011. Both of them demanded the right of the people of Bahrain to self-determination and called for the end of dictatorship and human rights violations in the country.

Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, and Naji Fatil are well known human rights defenders not only in Bahrain but in the GCC region. These leading human rights defenders have documented scores of human rights violations committed by the Al-khalifa government in Bahrain. In particular, during the pro-democracy movement which led the Bahraini government to arrest them and punish them by long imprisonment sentences.

In Saudi Arabia, the human rights lawyer Waleed Abo-Alkhair has been targeted by the Saudi authorities for his human rights work. He was arrested and tortured and ill-treated during interrogations and then sentenced for years in prison.

It’s concerning to see such treatment to human rights defenders and prisoners of conscious from the government of Bahrain which is currently a member of the Human Rights Council. We call on the Council to adapt some standards of human rights when it comes to membership criteria so governments like Bahrain will not become a member while it engages in systematic human rights violations against its citizens.