Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain and Salam for Democracy and Human Rights would like to thank the High Commissioner for his report to the Council. We welcome the High Commissioner’s boldness in highlighting human rights abuses in Bahrain, and for criticizing Bahrain’s hollow efforts toward assistance and reform.
We were also heartened to hear you reflect on “Governments who engage in intimidation and bullying, and commit reprisals against human rights defenders and NGOs which work with human rights mechanisms.” You asked, “do they not realize that this only confirms to us, and the world, how much oppression and injustice they exercise in their own countries?”
Mr. President, you yourself have been made aware of numerous acts of reprisals this year against human rights defenders and activists in Bahrain for their efforts to cooperate with this Council and with the UPR mechanism.
My good friend and colleague, Ebtisam al-Saegh was arrested by my government and subjected to physical, psychological and sexual torture as a direct consequence of her participation in HRC 34, and Bahrain’s 3rd Cycle UPR.
We call on all States in this Council to take seriously the High Commissioner’s reflections on the serious issue of reprisals, and to respond when states like Bahrain seek to undermine and degrade this Council through violent suppression.