NGOs at HRC28: human rights status in Bahrain is deteriorating

SHAFAQNA- Three human rights organizations, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy responded to the statement made by Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, Abdullah Abdullatif Abdullah, at the 28th Session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC).

The organizations said, ” Since the last session of the Human Rights Council in September 2014, Bahrain has increased restrictions on civil society and political opposition groups”, adding, ” The government has expanded its ability to utilize pre-trial detention to incarcerate individuals without due process, and has continued its systematic use of torture to coerce confessions and detain voices of dissent

“We urge the international community to continue to call on Bahrain to cease further deteriorating the status of human rights in the kingdom and urgently recommit to fulfilling its international human rights obligations.

“The Government of Bahrain likewise continues to disregard its commitments to international human rights standards. Since the 27th Session of the HRC, Bahrain has continued to neglect its commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention against Torture (CAT), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Furthermore, Bahrain still has yet to accomplish any meaningful implementation of the vast majority of the 158 recommendations the kingdom accepted during its 2012 Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

“Therefore, ADHRB, BCHR and BIRD call upon United Nations Member States, the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to urge the Government of Bahrain to:

  • Recommit to a full, transparent and expeditious implementation of the recommendations from Bahrain’s 2012 Second Cycle Universal Periodic Review and the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and;
  • Fulfill its international commitments to uphold international standards of human rights, including the ICCPR, CAT, CRC, and CEDAW, and ratify the optional protocols of the major international human rights treaties;
  • Release all individuals detained in relation to their expression of their human rights, including human rights defenders, journalists, photographers, doctors and medics, and religious and political opposition figures, especially those found to be arbitrarily detained by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and other Special Procedures;
  • Conclude negotiations with OHCHR to establish a full mandate country office in Bahrain that includes both a technical capacity building and a reporting mandate and enjoys full and unfettered access to the country.
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