Sheikh Ali Salman's Address at HRC: Bahrainis Anticipate International Community Support
2016-09-15 - 7:11 p
Bahrain Mirror: Bahraini opposition leader, Secretary General of al-Wefaq Society Sheikh Ali Salman, called on the international community to support the Bahraini people's democratic demands.
Sheikh Salman is currently serving a 9-year prison sentence in Bahrain. In an address delivered on his behalf at the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Sheikh Salman stressed that "Bahrain is currently witnessing a dangerous escalation of sectarian persecution against Shiite citizens, especially after the nationality of Shiite leader Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim was revoked. His prosecution was vexatious, representing the trial of the primary and pure constituent of the Bahraini people."
"The equality and social justice-demanding Bahraini people hope of the international community to support them in their just and legitimate demands, and put their values in respecting rights over other interests," Sheikh Salman added in his address.
He confirmed that the Bahraini people's movement is the most open in its demands of democracy, and the most adherent to peaceful means.
Regarding international efforts, Sheikh Salman said that "at a time when the people appreciate the stances that condemn the violations, and the repeated calls to hold a fruitful dialogue that results in a consensual political solution, they see that these stances have not led to the stop of violations, or pushed towards a true dialogue with the opposition."
Sheikh Ali Salman expressed his anticipation that the international human rights community will impose on the Bahraini government to implement their international commitments, and publically declare the Bahraini people's right to elect their government in a democratic manner. He also noted that there is a need to start a serious national dialogue that leads to stability."
Salman urged the Human Rights Council to "demand the release of all political prisoners, end impunity, end sectarian persecution against Shiite citizens, allow the establishment of a permanent high commissioner office with full power, [urge Bahrain to] join the International Criminal Court Treaty of Rome, and allow international rapporteurs and organizations to regularly visit Bahrain."
He also hoped that the HRC urges Bahrain to allow Bahraini human rights activists to open their rights organizations in the island kingdom and protect them so that they would practice their humanitarian activism, and allow them to move and travel freely. Moreover, he called for assigning the "High Commissioner to write a report on Bahrain and present it to the Member States, and later appoint a UN special rapporteur on Bahrain."
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