Bahrain Prevents Two HRW Representatives from Attending IPU Conference
2023-03-09 - 6:48 p
Bahrain Mirror: The Bahraini government denied entry to two delegates representing Human Rights Watch, an observer organization within the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and withdrew their visas that it had granted them.
The government, represented by the Ministry of Interior, decided to cancel the visas of two Human Rights Watch delegates, Michael Page, deputy director in the Middle East and North Africa division, and researcher Niku Jafarnia, both Americans who wanted to attend the IPU conference.
Michael Page is a deputy director in the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. He supervises Human Rights Watch's work in several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Egypt.
It is to mention that Human Rights Watch participated in issuing a joint statement along with 21 human rights organizations calling on the IPU to use the conference to raise concerns about the serious repression of human rights in Bahrain.
It is certain that the government's escalatory step will embarrass the presidency of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which accepts the presence of Human Rights Watch in its meetings as a monitor. Besides, the IPU's embarrassment increased after the Bahraini security authorities increased the pace of their strictness by carrying out arrest campaigns coinciding with the approach of the IPU meetings.
A number of activists were also arrested, including lawyer Ibrahim Al-Mannai as well as the owner of “Bahraini_Life” Instagram page.
Bahrain imprisoned former parliamentarians, namely the leader of the largest political bloc in parliament, Sheikh Ali Salman, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for calling for democratic transition in the country, along with opposition figures for supporting pro-democracy protests.
Bahrain also revoked the citizenship of parliamentarians including Jalal Fairooz and Jawad Fairooz.
The violations have affected parliamentarians in various aspects. MP Abdulhadi Khalaf was stripped of his nationality, MP Tamimi was arrested and his parliamentary status was dropped, and former MP Sheikh Hasan Isa was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
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