Human Rights Council 52nd Session
Speaker: Drewery Dyke
24 March 2023
The Advocates for Human Rights and Salam for Democracy and Human Rights thank the Working Group for its report on the Universal Periodic Review of Bahrain.
Bahrain’s use of the death penalty has increased by 20% since 2011, including death sentences for crimes other than the most serious. Foreign nationals and racial minorities disproportionately receive death sentences.
Accordingly, we commend Bahrain for supporting two recommendations to limit the death penalty to the most serious crimes.
While we share disappointment that Bahrain voted against a UN General Assembly vote on a moratorium of the death penalty in 2022, we welcome 13 countries’ recommendations that Bahrain ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR and restore a moratorium on its use. Unfortunately, Bahrain noted these recommendations.
As the use of torture while in detention remains widespread, particularly for individuals charged with ‘terrorism’-related offenses, we commend Bahrain for supporting recommendations to ratify the Convention against Torture, as well as its Optional Protocol.
We also welcome commitments set out in Bahrain’s National Human Rights Plan. The 2018 ‘Political Isolation’ laws, conversely, counter support for inclusion and tolerance set out in it. They reject provisions in the ICCPR that guarantee the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs.
We urge Bahrain to: