Al-Wefaq Welcomes Any Pressure on Bahraini Authorities to Respect Human Rights

2021-03-10 - 1:08 ص

Bahrain Mirror: Al-Wefaq former MP Ali Al-Aswad commented on the US Department of State spokesman saying that "we listened to the US Department of State spokesman on the issue of human rights council members and that there is no place in the council for any state that violates these rights."

Al-Aswad said in a videotaped comment on Al-Wefaq's Instagram account "we, in the opposition, welcome any positive step that puts pressure on the Bahraini authorities in the field of implementing human rights principles, in order to allow bigger space in Bahrain for freedom of expression, democracy and all the principles which the western countries speak about. Thus, when the Bahraini authorities violate these principles, it should have no chair in the human rights council (HRC), because it is one of the states that violates these rights."

The former MP stressed that "Essentially, in order to have the Government of Bahrain improve its human rights profile, it must protect human rights defenders first, release all political prisoners, allow the return of opposition groups and political societies and allow space for expressing their opinion in case of violations or constitutional breaches. These are the points the international community must pressure the Government of Bahrain to do."

With respect to the government's procedures dealing with Coronavirus complications, Al-Aswad explained that "the Bahraini authorities lost an important opportunity when they did not listen to local and international calls to release detainees amid the Coronavirus pandemic. These prisoners should have been released and protected from any health disaster that might occur to them, however, the authorities did not take advantage of this opportunity, and left Bahraini citizens stranded for a long time despite being in danger because of the spread of the pandemic around the world."

He added that the authorities have been trying to whitewash their image abroad for a decade, instead of focusing on improving the human rights status inside the country. Bahrain has been widely criticized and didn't receive the praise it has sought, thus the human rights ministry has failed and the file was referred to the foreign affairs ministry, which also failed.

Al-Aswad said that the human rights file can't be improved as long as there are violations and as long as there is a black human rights record and as long as there are prisoners of conscience, marginalization and absence of political opposition, as a basic representative of the people of Bahrain.

He confirmed that the ability and experience of international community in knowing the real situation in Bahrain is better than the ability of the government to polish its image. The international community is aware that Bahrain's human rights record is black, despite all the official movements outside the country.

"The Bahraini authorities are working towards preventing human rights defenders and the opposition from reaching the Human Rights Council in Geneva and they have an integrated program for this aim," Al-Aswad noted. "Therefore, we welcome any voice that defends Bahrain's voice inside the Human Rights Council, and we encourage the human rights defenders who speak from within Bahrain, which is the most difficult place to talk about human rights."

"We stress on the need for improving the human rights record in Bahrain, and we do not believe that this is difficult. The opposition must be involved in implementing the recommendations stipulated in the Bassiouni report, and this report also clearly recommended the involvement of the opposition in the implementation of these recommendations."

It is to note that Anthony Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States, stated on February 24 that the "The council has played a meaningful role in protecting fundamental freedoms by documenting atrocities to hold wrongdoers accountable, helping provide the framework to address past atrocities, and supporting transitional justice."

Arabic Version