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High Commissioner: Bahrain Closes Democratic Space Under Banner of Fighting Terrorism

2017-07-07 - 3:43 am

Bahrain Mirror: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said that Bahrain "is closing what is left of a democratic space, and all under the banner of fighting terrorism."

During a Grotius Lecture at the Law Society, London Grotius Lecture at the Law Society, London, the High Commissioner expressed concern regarding the recent call by British Prime Minister Theresa May for "human rights laws to be overturned if they were to "get in the way" in the fight against terrorism."

"For an increasingly anxious public, shaken by the recent and dreadful terrorist attacks, her remarks no doubt reflected real anger and frustration, but they also seemed intended to strike a chord with a certain sector of the electorate, and it is this expectation that truly worries me," he stated.

The Human Rights High Commissioner further stated, "Let me first return to the struggle against terrorism, and how it is being exploited by governments the world over to roll back the advances made in human rights. The curtailing of the freedoms of expression and association - which threatens to wipe out dissent completely in countries like Egypt, Bahrain, and Turkey - is closing what is left of a democratic space, and all under the banner of fighting terrorism. And this contagion is spreading, fast."

"When I emphasize this point, and highlight the excesses of government action, I am sometimes accused of showing sympathy with the terrorists, which is outrageous. I wish to be clear. I condemn terrorism unreservedly. It can never be justified, on the basis of any grievance, real or perceived," he went on to say.

Arabic Version



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