SALAM lodges complaint to Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders, Chairman of the Human Rights Council and Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights

SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights has a lodged a complaint to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, Michel Forst, the chairman of the Human Rights Council, and also forwarded the complaint to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The complaint concerned the libelous, dangerous and coordinated publication carried out by two Gulf Arab newspapers, in an attempt to scupper the works of a number of human rights defenders, and risk them to arrests and charges on their return to their native countries.

The two Gulf Arab newspapers, ‘Alsiyasa’ (a Kuwaiti newspaper) and ‘Akhbar il-Khaleej’ (a Bahraini newspaper), accused a Kuwaiti Member of Parliament, along with a group of other MPs, lawyers, academics, and human rights defenders, of directing an “Iranian and Houthi conspiracy” against the states of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The image used by the newspapers to evidence this defamatory claim used a group picture of Dr. Dashti and two human rights defenders, an academic, and a lawyer.
Dr. Dashti is a Kuwaiti MP and member of a human rights nongovernment organization. In addition to the libelous and harmful claims of directing an “Iranian and Houthi conspiracy”, he also faces severe consequences on his return to his native Kuwait. The newspapers further “urged” for his political immunity to be lifted.

Another of the individuals outlined in the article images was Jawad Fairooz, a former Bahraini MP and human rights defender who is in exile in the UK. He was made stateless by Bahraini authorities in 2012, and occupies the position of director of SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights. Present in Geneva to observe the 31st session, he was pegged by the newspaper articles as part of this fabricated conspiracy.

This poses a risk to all their future human rights activities, and endangers their families back in their native Gulf countries.
In the complaint, SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights condemned the apparent and clear ulterior motive posed by these malicious articles, which aim to curtail the works of human rights defenders abroad and shun the light away from the many human rights violations.