Geneva, Switzerland – From 25 February to 22 March 2019, People for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) participated in the 40th session of the United Nations’ (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. During the session, ADHRB highlighted human rights violations committed by the Governments of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States. During the session, ADHRB delivered 19 oral interventions and hosted 4 aspect events. Many of the considerations pertaining to human rights abuses that ADHRB raised before the Council have been echoed by UN officials, NGO representatives, and representatives from Member State delegations.
On 28 February, Margaret Mclntyre delivered the first oral intervention of the session. Talking during the Common Debate on Agenda Merchandise 3 in the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on meals and Unbiased Skilled on overseas debt, McIntyre raised considerations that Bahrain would use financial assist from its GCC neighbors to spend money on its repressive mechanisms, including arms deals, slightly than on encouraging much-needed financial improvement. She concluded by asking the Professional on overseas debt what steps he might advocate states like Bahrain take to ensure that financial assistance is channeled in the direction of paying off overseas money owed and bolstering financial progress quite than furthering human rights violations.
On 1 March, ADHRB delivered several oral interventions. ADHRB’s first intervention was throughout the Basic Debate underneath Agenda Item three in the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on privateness and the Particular Rapporteur on cultural rights. This intervention raised considerations over the Bahraini government’s cultural marginalization of its indigenous Baharna Shia population. In it, ADHRB famous how the government targets, denationalizes, and systematically represses Baharna spiritual leaders. Extra basically, ADHRB highlighted steps the government is taking to erase the Baharna indigenous group from Bahrain’s historical past.
The second oral intervention ADHRB delivered on 1 March came throughout the similar Interactive Dialogue with the Particular Rapporteur on food and the Unbiased Professional on overseas debt. In the intervention, when Advocacy Officer Tyler Pry raised considerations about the impression of the warfare in Yemen on Yemenis’ access to food. He discussed the damaging have an effect on of the closure of Yemen’s ports and Sana’a’s airport on entry to meals, as well as the disastrous impact the move of the Central Financial institution of Yemen had on salaries and the capacity to access meals. The outcome of these insurance policies and actions has been a humanitarian crisis by which 80 % of Yemen’s population – around 24 million individuals – is in want of humanitarian assistance.
Later that day, McIntyre delivered another intervention, speaking during the Item 3 Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteurs on privacy and on cultural rights, during which she mentioned the damaging influence that cyber surveillance has on privacy rights in the UAE. She highlighted that the Emirati government utilizes advanced surveillance know-how to watch residents whereas officers have hacked a whole lot of telephones to acquire emails, location info, text messages, and pictures of activists and authorities critics. Among those who have been focused is Ahmed Mansoor, a outstanding human rights activist, who’s at present serving a ten-year jail sentence.
Clara Sánchez López delivered the last oral intervention on 1 March. Talking throughout the Agenda Item 3 Interactive Dialogue with the Particular Rapporteur on selling and protecting human rights whereas countering terrorism, she expressed critical concern about the impression of Bahrain’s anti-terror laws on civil and political liberties, highlighting that the Bahraini government dissolved political opposition societies together with Al Wefaq and Wa’ad underneath the guise of countering terrorism. During her intervention, Lopéz said that the authorities has systematically targeted human rights activists and authorities critics, jailing dissidents like Naji Fateel, Abdulhadi AlKhawaja, Abduljalil AlSingace, Sheikh Ali Salman, and Nabeel Rajab.
On the morning of Tuesday, 5 March, ADHRB held a aspect occasion panel on the deteriorating human rights state of affairs in Bahrain, making the case that the deteriorating state of affairs is ripe for immediate international motion. Tor Hodenfield of CIVICUS moderated the panel, and Andrew Smith of Article 19, Bridget Quitter of ADHRB, Megha Ramesh of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, and Ali Al Fayez, a Bahraini political activist, spoke. The panelists mentioned restrictions on free expression and free affiliation, the lack of unbiased media, denationalizations of dissidents, and reprisals towards human rights defenders and activists crucial of the authorities, particularly dissidents who attended HRC periods.
On Tuesday afternoon, ADHRB delivered an oral intervention throughout the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on faith and the Special Rapporteur on the sale of youngsters, highlighting the oppression of Bahrain’s Shia Muslim group and ongoing restrictions on the proper to freedom of religion. Later that day, López delivered one other oral intervention beneath Agenda Item 3 throughout the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary-Basic on violence towards youngsters and youngsters in armed conflict. Her intervention targeted on the situations of minors held in Bahraini prisons and detention centers. She highlighted that security forces in Bahrain regularly physically abuse, assault, and torture minors in detention.
On Wednesday 6 March, Alessandro Musumeci delivered an oral intervention on behalf of ADHRB during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the setting and the Special Rapporteur on housing. In his intervention, Musumeci drew attention to the well being problems villagers in the city of Ma’ameer experience consequently of air and water air pollution stemming from close by industrial actions. ADHRB delivered a second oral intervention on 6 March calling attention to Bahraini safety forces’ abuse and torture of youngsters in Bahraini detention. Later that day, ADHRB delivered a third oral intervention, this one throughout the Annual Debate on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In the intervention, ADHRB drew the Council’s attention to Article 26 of the Convention on the Rights of Individuals with Disabilities (CRPD), highlighting how Bahrain fails to abide by its treaty obligations beneath the CRPD to take satisfactory habilitation and rehabilitation measures for persons with disabilities and to ensure maximum independence and full integration for disabled people in all features of every day life.
On 6 March, Naomi Kenifra delivered an intervention in French during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on disabilities and the Unbiased Professional on albinism. Talking about Saudi Arabia, she referred to as the Council’s attention to the kingdom’s use of the demise penalty towards individuals with disabilities and discussed repeated human rights violations directed in the direction of disabled persons. McIntyre additionally delivered an oral intervention during the debate with the Rapporteur on disabilities. In her intervention, she discussed the plight of persons with disabilities in Bahrain, highlighting Mahdi Kuwaid’s case – Kuwaid was arbitrarily arrested and tortured by Bahraini safety forces. Salma Moussawi delivered ADHRB’s third oral intervention of the day during the debate with the Rapporteur on disabilities, reiterating ongoing rights violations toward disabled individuals like Dr. Abduljalil AlSingace and Mahdi Kuwaid in Bahrain. Talking in Arabia, Moussawi described how authorities abused and tortured disabled Bahraini activists.
On Monday 11 March, ADHRB and Amnesty Worldwide wrote a letter to states urging them to draft and ship a joint statement addressing the deteriorating human rights state of affairs in Bahrain. The letter famous the measures adopted by the government to remove the organized political opposition, close civil society area, goal and jail human rights defenders and activists, and proceed its pattern of reprisals towards critics of the government.
On the similar day, Alexis Henning delivered an oral intervention throughout the Common Debate underneath Item 3, criticizing Saudi Arabia’s restrictions on and concentrating on of activists and human rights defenders. She additionally referred to as attention to the kingdom’s restrictions on freedom of expression and opinion, highlighting instances which were raised by the Special Procedures, together with Saudi expatriate Jamal Khashoggi – killed by the Saudi security drive personnel on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – and journalists, bloggers, writers, and ladies human rights defenders presently in jail.
On the morning of Tuesday 12 March, ADHRB hosted a aspect occasion on impunity in Saudi Arabia. Husain Abdulla of ADHRB moderated the event, with remarks by Sue Eedle of ALQST, Oliver Windridge, a human rights lawyer, a researcher for ESOHR, and Sonia Tancic of FIDH. The panel additionally heard the testimony of Zainab Abu Al-Khair, the sister of torture victim Husain Abu Al-Khair, who’s on dying row in Saudi Arabia. In their remarks, the panelists expressed concern about the impunity enjoyed by Saudi security drive personnel for abuses committed, including arbitrary detention and torture.
On Wednesday 13 March, Lopéz delivered an oral intervention during the Agenda Merchandise 4 Basic Debate specializing in the plight of political prisoners in Bahrain. She highlighted the instances of the outstanding political activists Sheikh Ali Salman, Hassan Mushaima and Abdulwahab Hussain who’re at present serving long jail sentences. She referred to as additional consideration to how the government is further mistreating Mushaima and Hussain by a denying them healthcare and proscribing their access medicine.
ADHRB delivered one other intervention during the Agenda Merchandise 4 Basic Debate, this one targeted on Bahrain’s continued detention of human rights defenders. The intervention highlighted Abdulhadi AlKhawaja, Nabeel Rajab, Dr. Abduljalil AlSingace, and Naji Fateel’s instances, noting that their detention and remedy is emblematic of a bigger development of the Bahraini government’s suppression of dissent and harassment of human rights defenders.
That same day, ADHRB delivered two interventions beneath Agenda Item 5, one of them by ADHRB’s Authorized Officer Bridget Quitter. In her intervention, she raises considerations about Bahrain’s concentrating on of Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei’s family in reprisal for his human rights work. In the second Item 5 intervention, ADHRB raised considerations about Bahrain’s refusal to cooperate with the Particular Procedures, highlighting instances of torture and arbitrary detention, particularly that of former gold medal Jiu-jitsu athlete Mohamed Merza Moosa.
On 13 March ADHRB and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights co-hosted a aspect event assessing systematic torture in Bahrain. Zainab AlKhawaja of GCHR moderated the event, with remarks by Husain Abdulla, Government Director of ADHRB, Ali Abdulemam, a Bahraini human rights defender and blogger, Aya Majzoub of Human Rights Watch, and Gerald Staberock of OMCT. The panelists discussed the influence of torture of abuse on victims and the pervasive tradition of torture and impunity all through Bahrain’s safety forces and highlighted the position high-level figures in authorities, together with Nasser bin Hamad and the Minister of Interior have in supporting and empowering torture and impunity.
On 14 March, ADHRB hosted one other aspect event which panelists discussed systematic violations of human rights in Yemen. Moderated by ADHRB’s Tyler Pry, Mohammed Alwazir and Ahmed Alshami of the Arabian Rights Watch Affiliation, Abdulqader Almurtadha, the Head of the Prisoner Trade Commission in Sana’a, Dr. Aiman Al-Mansor of Insan Organization, and Bridget Quitter of ADHRB mentioned how the struggle in Yemen has led to at least one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world during which hundreds have died, and hundreds of thousands endure from famine and poverty.
On Friday 14 March, McIntyre delivered an oral intervention throughout the Item 6 UPR Consequence Evaluate for Jordan and expressed concern rights abuses like in Yemen and Bahrain. McIntyre additionally highlighted restrictions on freedom of expression and civil society, condemning the detention of rights defenders and activists for speech essential of the kingdom or government.
During the remaining week of the session, the Human Rights Council accepted and adopted several resolutions, selections, and President’s statements. ADHRB paid special attention to the decision relating to human rights, democracy and the rule of regulation and the selections on the end result of the Universal Periodic Evaluate for Saudi Arabia.