Sayed Ahmed Al-Wadaei and Michael Payne: Joint Statement Issued by 33 States Marks Bahrain’s Last Chance to Demonstrate Commitment to HR
2015-09-19 - 6:34 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The two activists Sayed Ahmed Al-Wadaei and Michael Payne said in a joint article on the ibtimes website that "the joint statement issued by 33 states mark last chance to demonstrate a real commitment to human rights," pointing out that "this statement is the fifth of its kind" adding "if the fifth statement isn't the charm, then maybe a substantial resolution - with the full support of the UN - might begin to do the trick."
Analyzing the statement, the two writers said "And yet, as the unrest in Bahrain prepares to enter its fifth year, this fifth joint statement reads all too familiar - and for the same old authoritarian reasons."
They pointed out that "The current statement, though a welcome and timely addition to the international discourse, necessarily reiterates the points of its equally welcome and timely predecessors," and that "This redundancy belies any government claim to progress or international cooperation and it reveals, instead, a Bahrain mired in autocratic obstinacy."
"Despite annual calls to reopen political dialogue, the government has demurred, shielding itself behind superficial reforms. Following the lead of its more powerful big brother, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain's government has selectively exploited increasingly securitised discourse to evade its human rights commitments and deflect international scrutiny," they highlighted.
They further stated "Rather than fully acknowledge these obligations, domestic or international, the Bahraini government has simply gilded its still-robust authoritarian infrastructure in empty reform," adding "To do otherwise - to address the underlying causes of unrest as previously requested by the international community - would require the government to recognise legitimate political grievance in Bahrain. This admission would not just jeopardise the monarchy's ultimate claim to power, it would also expose the government's role in a broader political crisis of its own making."
"The government has had five chances to improve on the same human rights issues and, excluding superficial reform of some state-sponsored human rights institutions, it has failed."
This statement is the fifth of its kind since 2012, nearly one for every year the al-Khalifa monarchy has maintained its violent crackdown on the pro-democracy movement.
33 states including the US and UK have signed the statement, all expressing serious concern over ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain.
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