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US State Departmentís Annual Human Rights Report: Impunity is Still A Problem

2018-04-22 - 8:47 p

Bahrain Mirror: US State Department issued an annual report about human rights in the world for 2017. The report specialized 41 pages for Bahrain's human rights practices in 2017.

According to the US State Department, the report included major human rights issues in Bahrain for 2017: reports on arbitrary or unlawful killings by security forces; allegations of torture of detainees and prisoners; harsh conditions of detention and possibly life threatening; the arbitrary arrest and detention; political prisoners; unlawful interference with privacy; restrictions on freedom of expression, including press and Internet, restrictions on academic and cultural events; restrictions on rights of Association and Assembly; allegations of restrictions on freedom of movement, including the arbitrary revocation of citizenship; and limits on political Shiite participation.

On the other hand, the US State Department saw that the investigations carried out quasi-governmental institutions in human rights violations were slow and ineffective, considering that impunity remained a problem.

In its detailed report, the US State department mentioned new details about the lawsuit levelled against Bahraini opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, stating that on November 27, authorities charged him with "attempting to overthrow the regime" and "giving away state and military secrets to foreign powers in exchange for money."

The charges related to recorded 2011 telephone conversations between Salman and Qatar's former Prime Minister Hamad Jassim Al-Thani. Activists asserted the charges were political in nature, and the recorded conversation, which involved a discussion of resolving the 2011 unrest in the country, had the direct approval of King Hamad.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an opinion in 2015 that Salman was arbitrarily detained by the government.

Among the cases and incidents the report tackled in details are: Diraz raid; house arrest imposed on spiritual leader of Shia Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim; dissolution of Al-Wefaq and Wa'ad, execution of prisoners accused of planning to assassinate the marshal; and cases of torture related to National Security Agency in Muharraq, on top activist Ibtisam Al-Saegh.

The report mentioned in its introduction that the turnout on 2014 Parliamentary elections was significantly lower in opposition districts, due in part to a decision to boycott the elections by the main opposition political societies and a lack of confidence among opposition communities in the electoral system.

The cabinet in Bahrain consists of 26 ministers; 12 of those ministers were members of the Al-Khalifa ruling family, the report noted.

Arabic Version



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