UN Human Rights Council Issue Joint-Statement on Bahrain at 26th Session

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The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy strongly supports the joint-statement on Bahrain under the initiative of Switzerland at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Forty Six (46) States have joined to note serious concerns over violations of human rights in Bahrain including:

  • long sentences for exercising rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association,
  • the lack of sufficient guarantee of fair trial,
  • the repression of demonstrations,
  • the continued harassment and imprisonment of persons exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression,
  • ill-treatment and torture in detention facilities,
  • the arbitrary deprivation of nationality without due process and,
  • insufficient accountability for human rights violations.

The statement, which is the fourth one since 2012, also called upon the government of Bahrain to “expedite the full implementation of the recommendations received from the BICI and the UPR recommendations accepted by Bahrain by undertaking further measures, in particular amending or repealing legal provisions that unduly restrict human rights”. Bahrain has recently passed restrictive measures further limiting the human rights of its civilian population by banning protests and rallies, issuing a law that imposes a seven-year jail sentence and fine of 10000BD for criticising the King, targeting civilian nationalities in law and targeting parents and guardians of juvenile protesters.

The statement further calls on the government of Bahrain to “release all persons imprisoned solely for exercising human rights, including human rights defenders some of whom have been identified as arbitrarily detained”, “to appropriately address reports of ill-treatment and torture of prisoners” and to “ensure an independent, thorough and impartial investigation and prosecution of these cases, as well as of other allegations of human rights violations.”

The statements has also invited Bahrain to allow the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish a country office with a full mandate.

Full text of the joint-statement by Switzerland:

BIRD also welcomes the statement made by Greek ambassador, His Excellency Alexandros Alexandris, on behalf of the European Union, that called on Bahrain to enhance cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and to accept a country office with a full mandate.

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