Bahrain Mirror: Member of the Committee Against Torture (CAT) Mr. Alessio Bruni repeated his inquiry to the Bahraini delegation in Geneva over Bahrain's invitation to the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein to visit the country.
His remarks came during the session held Monday (April 24, 2017) in Geneva to present the Bahraini delegation's responses to inquiries by the CAT in Geneva last Friday (April 21, 2017). This came in the framework of discussing the second and third national periodic reports on Implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
"I received an answer from the Bahraini delegation on our inquiry regarding the invitation (...) and it said that the Foreign Ministry didn't receive the invitation presented by the Parliament. This is the invitation through which the High Commissioner was supposed to visit places of detention. What I need to know is where do we stand from this visit? Especially in line of the importance this visit can hold in the implementation of the Convention against Torture," Bruni stated.
However, the Deputy Foreign Minister Abdullah Al-Dossari commented saying, "The legislative authority was the one that presented the call to the High Commission to visit Bahrain. We, as the executive authority, will communicate it in accordance with the diplomatic channel. We are not however party to this invitation, and we will refer it if we receive it from the legislative authority."
On another note, Bruni stated, "The Special Rapporteur on torture asked many time to visit Bahrain, but the Bahraini authorities said it wasn't ready yet, as it wanted to first implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiries. To our understanding from the intervention of the government delegation, Bahrain has implemented the recommendations. According to that, I see that the time has come to allow the Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Bahrain."
Bruni believed that the Bahraini delegation's answers on the torture allegations were short, "I did not only get my information on torture allegations in Bahrain from civil societies' reports only, but also from the BICI report."