» News

Special Rapporteur Documents for HRC Systematic Oppression Campaign against Opposition and HR Activists in Bahrain

2018-03-06 - 10:38 p

Bahrain Mirror: The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Michel Forst expressed serious concerns regarding the wider context of a general crackdown and mounting pressure exerted on human rights defenders in Bahrain. The special rapporteur also expressed his concern over prosecution, punishment and intimidation of human rights defenders.

In the report he submitted to human rights council in the UN in the framework of the 37th session on March 1, 2018, Forst said "Bahraini authorities seem to have resorted to drastic measures to curb dissenting opinions, including reprisals directed against defenders for cooperating with the United Nations, and in particular the Human Rights Council and the OHCHR."

The report that talked about several countries that suffer from oppression against human rights activists and defenders tackled "travel ban" that has been imposed on number of human rights defenders in Bahrain, which hindered their cooperation with the United Nations and their human rights work on international scale.

It further alleged that numerous human rights defenders have been convicted for taking part in peaceful protests, and security forces are reported to regularly use excessive force to disperse protesters, leading to deaths and serious injuries.

According to the ongoing allegations regarding human rights violations in Bahrain, Forst considered in the report that "the allegations received in the current reporting period seem to continue the pattern of a systematic crackdown on dissent, civil society institutions and human rights defenders in Bahrain."

Of additional concern is the fact that domestic legislation, such as several articles of the Penal Code, the Law of Associations, and the Law on Protecting Society from Terrorist Acts, impose broad prohibitions on individual and group expression and peaceful assemblies and marches.

The Special Rapporteur remains deeply concerned over allegations of torture and ill-treatment to which human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders are being subjected during interrogations and while in detention.

The report also indicated that these concerns are aggravated by the fact that acts of torture and ill-treatment may have occurred, at least in part, in reprisal for their cooperation with the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations.

The Special Rapporteur emphasizes that the imposition of a death sentence is an exceptional measure only permissible under international law for the "most serious crimes" and where all procedural guarantees are observed.

The Special Rapporteur is seriously concerned by information conveyed by Bahraini authorities confirming that Ebtisam Al-Saegh is facing several charges related to, inter alia, terrorist activities, conspiracy, spreading false rumors that could prejudice national security and public order. The report stresses that Al-Saegh denies all charges brought against her.

He fully acknowledges that States have not only the right, but also the duty, to protect individuals within their jurisdiction from threats to their lives and physical integrity emanating from acts of terrorism.

At the same time, all measures adopted must comply with States' international obligations, including human rights, humanitarian and refugee law obligations.

The Special Rapporteur laments the discrimination and violence faced in particular by women human rights defenders and urges the Government of Bahrain to take urgent and practical measures to protect women human rights defenders.

He exhorts Bahrain to take all measures to prevent loss of life during detention, arrest, or public demonstrations, as well as ensure that law enforcement officers act with restraint and in conformity to international law.

The Special Rapporteur calls upon Bahrain to combat impunity through timely and effective action by holding accountable both State and non-State actors who attack or threaten human rights defenders and their families.

The Special Rapporteur equally urges the Government to ensure that policies and practices, particularly anti-terrorism legislation, conform to international standards and do not have the effect of depriving or discouraging human rights defenders from exercising their activities, which are vital for a democratic society.

Arabic Version



comments powered by Disqus