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Five Bahraini HR Organizations Stress Failure of NIHR in Protecting Human Rights

2017-03-13 - 5:50 am

Bahrain Mirror: A statement issued by five Bahraini human rights organizations stressed the failure of the National Institution of Human Rights (NIHR) in reflecting the real conditions in the country, which confirms that the institution does not follow Paris Principles that Bahrain said the institution was formed in accordance with.

Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, Bahrain Human Rights Observatory, Salam for Democracy and Human Rights, Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights and Bahraini Society for Human Rights said that the last two reports issued by the NIHR ignored issues that tackle human rights issue mainly, including banning citizens from staging protests, preventing detainees from their rights, torture and revoking of citizenships.

The organizations said "the Kingdom of Bahrain has been under total ban of peaceful protests and demonstrations since October 2014 until now, although citizens have repeatedly submitted requests to obtain permits to stage protests and demonstrations. However, the NIHR did not find the total ban of protesting an alarming issue or a one that infringes or violates human rights."

They stressed that "no security official has been charged with involving in human rights violations cases. On the other hand, all of those found involved in human rights violations are junior members affiliated to the security apparatuses. The 2013 institution's report tackled this issue and noticed the difference in punishments issued against members affiliated to the security apparatuses and against those sentenced over charges related to freedom of opinion and expression, indicating that some security apparatuses' members are sometimes acquitted by high courts; which promotes impunity."

"The excessive use of force, torture allegations and ill-treatment are still the dominant feature of the security forces in dealing with peaceful protestors, arrested and detainees. However the NIHR also ignored this," they further stated.

The organizations confirmed that the NIHR ignored the fact that "many people who were damaged as a result of human rights violations did not receive compensation and that the file of dismissed people over 2011 incidents has not been closed yet." They indicated that the public prosecution also prevents defendants from seeking help from their lawyers.

The five organizations completed "although the NIHR raised in its 2013 annual report the case of stripping 31 Bahraini of their nationalities within administrative decrees, some tried to appeal the decision before the judiciary but the government refused to submit these decision to the judiciary. This was criticized by the NIHR in its 2014 report, noting that it recommended to return the nationalities to these people. Nonetheless, the human rights situation deteriorated and the number of those stripped of their citizenships increased and some were forcibly deported from Bahrain. The institution did not even mention this in its report."

According to the organizations, the NIHR ignored the humanitarian situation in Diraz that was under complete siege after the sit-in staged outside the house of religious leader Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, whose nationality was revoked by the authorities in June 2016.

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