HRW: Preventing Us from Attending IPU conference is Blatant Example of Bahrain's Escalating Repression
2023-03-10 - 3:30 p
Bahrain Mirror: Human Rights Watch condemned the Bahraini authorities' revoking of the entry visas of two Human Rights Watch staff members to attend the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, although the organization holds permanent observer status with the IPU.
The organization's slogan is "For democracy. For everyone," and the theme of the 146th Assembly is "Promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies: Fighting intolerance" are in stark contrast to the extensive record of serious human rights abuses in Bahrain that Human Rights Watch and other rights organizations have documented.
"Bahrain's hosting of sporting and high-level international events is a transparent attempt to launder its decades-long campaign to crush political opposition and suffocate the country's vibrant civil society," said Tirana Hassan, Human Rights Watch's acting executive director."
"Bahrain's unilateral reversal of Human Rights Watch's access to the IPU conference is a blatant example of its escalating repression. Governments, organizations with influence, and key officials should speak out loudly against Bahrain's abuses so they are not complicit in its efforts to whitewash its horrific rights record."
"With local civil society severely restricted by Bahrain's autocratic government, members of the IPU Assembly should live up to its organizational values and speak out on behalf of Bahrain's victims of repression," Hassan said.
HRW called on the parliamentary group's members and its leadership to publicly demand that Bahrain authorities unconditionally and immediately release all those imprisoned solely for peaceful speech and call for the government to immediately rescind its draconian "political isolation law".