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Bahrain: Continuous Targeting of Bahraini Opposition Former MPs

Bahrain Center for Human Rights condemns the continuous targeting of former Members of Bahraini Parliament because of their political opinions and criticism of government officials and bodies.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights has monitored the cases of former MPs, both Sunni and Shia Muslims, that have been punished in a variety of ways because of their political opinions. It demonstrates the constraints on freedom of expression and opinion against all citizens, including MPs in Bahrain.

Former MP, Jawad Fairooz, a member of al Wefaq opposition party and president of Bahrain SALAM for Human Rights confirmed that he was threatened during his time as MP from 2006 to 2011. Mr Fairooz was warned by a media personality that the State does not accept his activism and questioning of the government, and revenge against him will be sought “sooner or later”. On 2 May 2011, Mr Fairooz was arrested during the severe national security crackdown against anyone who showed support for the popular national demonstrations in February 2011. He was left in solitary confinement for more than 43 days and was subjected to physical and psychological torture before being released in August 2011 (1).

Mr Fairooz further stated that one of the investigators in the security apparatus said to him: “who do you think yourself to question and hold accountable the ruling family figures, even if they are ministers”.

Mr Fairooz was charged in a military court and was sentenced to imprisonment for 15 months in November 2012 after he was charged for an offence relating to freedom of opinion (2). The sentence coincided with the decision by the Interior Minister to strip 31 Bahrainis of their nationality, which included Mr Fairooz. His house was attacked on numerous occasions with Molotov cocktails and his pension fund has been ceased. His family has been targeted too, with his wife being briefly arrested in 2011, and has been harassed at work. Mr Fairooz was travelling outside of Bahrain when his citizenship was revoked, thus forcing him to seek asylum.

Mr Fairooz was not the only MP that was subjected to arrest and torture in the security crackdown in 2011, as another MP, Matar Matar, was also arrested on 2 May 2011 and was tortured as well according to reports (3). He too was released in August 2011 (4).

In November 2012, former MP Jalal Fairooz had his citizenship revoked whilst he was travelling abroad. His wife was targeted at her workplace and his daughter was expelled from her university as a form of retaliation against him.

In September 2013, former MP Khalil Al-Marzooq, the chairman of al Wefaq in Parliament, was arrested. He was detained for more than a month and was released on 24 October 2013 (5).

Further, in May 2014, Osama Al-Tamimi’s Parliamentary membership was revoked. Mr Al-Tamimi was also prevented from accessing his pension fund (6). He was arrested again in October 2014, charged with abusing police officers, with sentencing against him still on-going. His business place was attacked by armed forces in May 2012 after his criticism of the Prime Minister of Bahrain (7).

In December 2014, former MP Sheikh Ali Salman, Secretary General of al Wefaq and leader of the largest parliamentary opposition, was arrested and remains imprisoned following investigations of charges against his political statements (8). On a previous occasion, a tear-gas canister was directed at him, which caused major injuries to another who received the blow. Sheikh Ali Salman has been called in numerous times for investigations since 2011, and was investigated by the Military Prosecution. His house has been repeatedly hit with tear-gas canisters.

On 25 December 2014, former MP, Khalid Abdil-Aal, was called in for questioning by the Public Prosecution because of criticisms he tweeted in April 2014, charging him with the offence of “slandering the Ministry of Interior” (9).

In addition, on 14 January 2015, former MP, Jameel Kadhim, chariman of the consultative council of al Wefaq, was sentenced to 6 months in prison following the charge of “disrupting elections”. The Justice Minister brought forward the case against Mr Kadhim because of tweets he made where he suggested “political money runs in the election” (10).

As a result of this rhetoric, the Inter-Parliamentary Union has described Bahrain as one of the most dangerous of 7 countries in the middle-east for MPs that are active in human rights (11).

Bahrain Center for Human Rights has expressed its grave concerns regarding the absence of freedoms of expression and opinion in Bahrain, and that Bahraini MPs have paid a hefty price for exercising their rights in this regard. What they are experiencing from arrests and judicial-hounding to imprisonment is seen as revenge against their human rights and political activities.

In light of what has happened, Bahrain Center for Human Rights demands the following from the Bahraini Government: 

1- The prompt release of Sheikh Ali Salman and Jameel Kadhim along with all activists, political or otherwise, that are in Bahraini prisons, aswell as to drop the charges against them.

2- Cease revengeful crackdowns against former opposition MPs, which are being carried out in violation of their right to freedom of expression.

3- Ensure that all MPs are able to exercise their rights and duties in inspecting and questioning senior officials in Parliament without fear of reprisals.


[1] http://www.redress.org/case-docket/allegation-letter-concerning-jawad-fairooz

[2] http://www.alwasatnews.com/3714/news/read/714144/1.html

[3] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14439733

[4] http://www.alwasatnews.com/3322/news/read/600526/1.html

[5] http://www.alwasatnews.com/4310/news/read/898764/1.html


[7] http://www.bahrainrights.org/ar/node/5282

[8] http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/7215

[9] http://www.alwasatnews.com/4493/news/read/947534/1.html

[10] http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/7229

[11] http://www.ipu.org/press-e/pressrelease201412081.htm

Bahrain Center for Human Rights: Enforced disappearance is a phenomenon that threatens the security of society

Denying the crime of enforced disappearance will not solve it

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses deep concern over the continuous cases of enforced disappearances since 2017 and 2018. This came as a response to the silence of Bahrain's judicial authorities on the investigation of complaints of enforced disappearance monitored and documented by human rights organizations in Bahrain, including the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, as well as the lack of compensation to the victims for the suffering and torture they have been through.

It is noteworthy that four of the recommendations that were stated in the UPR in May 2017, insisted on the need to urge Bahrain to sign, ratify and join the International Convention for the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and harmonize its domestic legislations with this convention.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights believes that the absence of effective laws may be a major cause of the widespread practice of enforced disappearance, especially after the issuance of Decree No. 68 of 2014 amending Article 27 of Law No. 58 of 2006 which allowed the security authorities to detain individuals for 28 days without the need for a court order.

On the occasion of the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearance, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights called on the Government of Bahrain to:


- Implementation of the recommendations stated in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), including signature, ratification and accession to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

- Repeal of decree 68 of 2014, which allowed the security authorities to detain persons for 28 days without the guarantee of the accused to meet with his lawyer

- The trial of officials and perpetrators of the crime of enforced disappearance within the security system

- Appropriate Compensation for victims of enforced disappearance and their families for the suffering that was caused by this arbitrary measure.

The Round Table: The Crime of Enforced Disappearance

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) organized in cooperation with SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights the “Round Table” in Beirut entitled “The Crime of Enforced Disappearance” on the occasion of the the International Day Of The Victims Of Enforced Disappearances which happens to be tomorrow. A number of international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, MAP and MAHARAT, in addition to lawyers, participated in the round table.

The round table consisted of five axes; the first one defined the enforced disappearance and the conditions for its realization. The second talked about the importance of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The third axis discussed the role of civil society in combating the crime of enforced disappearance. The fourth axis presented Bahraini laws and legislation that contributed to the crime of enforced disappearance. Finally, The Round Table ended with the fifth axis, which highlighted the state's responsibility for the crime of enforced disappearance.

JOINT STATEMENT: 127 Rights groups call for immediate release of Nabeel Rajab after UN group calls his detention arbitrary and discriminatory


Paris-Geneva-Manama, 29 August 2018– For the second time since 2013, the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has issued an Opinion regarding the legality of the detention of Mr. Nabeel Rajab under international human rights law. In its second opinion, the WGAD held that the detention was not only arbitrary but also discriminatory. The 127 signatory human rights groups welcome this landmark opinion, made public on 13 August 2018, recognising the role played by human rights defenders in society and the need to protect them. We call upon the Bahraini Government to immediately release Nabeel Rajab in accordance with this latest request.

In its Opinion(A/HRC/WGAD/2018/13), the WGAD considered that the detention of Mr. Nabeel Rajabcontravenes Articles 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 18 and 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and Articles 2, 9, 10, 14, 18, 19 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Bahrain in 2006. The WGAD requested the Government of Bahrain to “release Mr. Rajab immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law.

This constitutes a landmark opinion as it recognises that the detention of Mr. Nabeel Rajab – President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Founding Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), Deputy Secretary General of FIDH and a member of the Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Advisory Committee – is arbitrary and in violation of international law, as it results from his exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression as well as freedom of thought and conscience, and furthermore constitutes “discrimination based on political or other opinion, as well as on his status as a human rights defender.” Mr. Nabeel Rajab’s detention has therefore been found arbitrary under both categories II and V as defined by the WGAD.

Mr. Nabeel Rajab was arrested on 13 June 2016 and has been detained since then by the Bahraini authorities on several freedom of expression-related charges that inherently violate his basic human rights. On 15 January 2018, the Court of Cassation upheld his two-year prison sentence, convicting him of “spreading false news and rumors about the internal situation in the Kingdom, which undermines state prestige and status” – in reference to television interviews he gave in 2015 and 2016. Most recently on 5 June 2018, the Manama Appeals Court upheld his five years’ imprisonment sentence for “disseminating false rumors in time of war”; “offending a foreign country” – in this case Saudi Arabia; and for “insulting a statutory body”, in reference to comments made on Twitter in March 2015 regarding alleged torture in Jaw prison and criticising the killing of civilians in the Yemen conflict by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. The Twitter case will next be heard by the Court of Cassation, the final opportunity for the authorities to acquit him.

The WGAD underlined that “the penalisation of a media outlet, publishers or journalists solely for being critical of the government or the political social system espoused by the government can never be considered to be a necessary restriction of freedom of expression,” and emphasised that “no such trial of Mr. Rajab should have taken place or take place in the future.” It added that the WGAD “cannot help but notice that Mr. Rajab’s political views and convictions are clearly at the centre of the present case and that the authorities have displayed an attitude towards him that can only be characterised as discriminatory.” The WGAD added that several cases concerning Bahrain had already been brought before it in the past five years, in which WGAD “has found the Government to be in violation of its human rights obligations.” WGAD added that “under certain circumstances, widespread or systematic imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty in violation of the rules of international law may constitute crimes against humanity.” 

Indeed, the list of those detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression and opinion in Bahrain is long and includes several prominent human rights defenders, notably Mr. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja,Dr.Abduljalil Al-Singaceand Mr. Naji Fateel– whom the WGAD previously mentioned in communications to the Bahraini authorities.

Our organisations recall that this is the second time the WGAD has issued an Opinion regarding Mr. Nabeel Rajab. In its Opinion A/HRC/WGAD/2013/12adopted in December 2013, the WGAD already classified Mr. Nabeel Rajab’s detention as arbitrary as it resulted from his exercise of his universally recognised human rights and because his right to a fair trial had not been guaranteed (arbitrary detention under categories II and III as defined by the WGAD).The fact that over four years have passed since that opinion was issued, with no remedial action and while Bahrain has continued to open new prosecutions against him and others, punishing expression of critical views, demonstrates the government’s pattern of disdain for international human rights bodies.

To conclude, our organisations urge the Bahrain authorities to follow up on the WGAD’s request to conduct a country visit to Bahrain and to respect the WGAD’s opinion, by immediately and unconditionally releasing Mr. Nabeel Rajab, and dropping all charges against him. In addition, we urge the authorities to release all other human rights defenders arbitrarily detained in Bahrain and to guarantee in all circumstances their physical and psychological health.

This statement is endorsed by the following organisations:

1- ACAT Germany – Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture
2- ACAT Luxembourg
3- Access Now
4- Acción Ecológica (Ecuador)
5- Americans for Human Rights and Democracy in Bahrain – ADHRB
6- Amman Center for Human Rights Studies – ACHRS (Jordania)
7- Amnesty International
8- Anti-Discrimination Center « Memorial » (Russia)
9- Arabic Network for Human Rights Information – ANHRI (Egypt)
10- Arab Penal Reform Organisation (Egypt)
11- Armanshahr / OPEN Asia (Afghanistan)
12- ARTICLE 19
13- Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos - APRODEH (Peru)
14- Association for Defense of Human Rights – ADHR 
15- Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression – AFTE (Egypt)
16- Association marocaine des droits humains - AMDH
17- Bahrain Center for Human Rights
18- Bahrain Forum for Human Rights
19- Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy – BIRD
20- Bahrain Interfaith
21- Cairo Institute for Human Rights – CIHRS
22- CARAM Asia (Malaysia)
23- Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine)
24- Center for Constitutional Rights (USA)
25- Center for Prisoners’ Rights (Japan)
26- Centre libanais pour les droits humains - CLDH
27- Centro de Capacitación Social de Panama
28- Centro de Derechos y Desarrollo – CEDAL (Peru)
29- Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales – CELS (Argentina)
30- Centro de Políticas Públicas y Derechos Humanos – Perú EQUIDAD
31- Centro Nicaragüense de Derechos Humanos – CENIDH (Nicaragua)
32- Centro para la Acción Legal en Derechos Humanos – CALDH (Guatemala)
33- Citizen Watch (Russia)
34- CIVICUS : World Alliance for Citizen Participation
35- Civil Society Institute – CSI (Armenia)
36- Colectivo de Abogados « José Alvear Restrepo » (Colombia)
37- Collectif des familles de disparu(e)s en Algérie - CFDA
38- Comisión de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador – CDHES 
39- Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos – CEDHU (Ecuador)
40- Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (Costa Rica)
41- Comité de Acción Jurídica – CAJ (Argentina)
42- Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos – CPDH (Colombia)
43- Committee for the Respect of Liberties and Human Rights in Tunisia - CRLDHT
44- Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative – CHRI (India)
45- Corporación de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos del Pueblo – CODEPU (Chile)
46- Dutch League for Human Rights - LvRM
47- European Center for Democracy and Human Rights – ECDHR (Bahrain)
48- FEMED – Fédération euro-méditerranéenne contre les disparitions forcées 
49- FIDH, in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
50- Finnish League for Human Rights
51- Foundation for Human Rights Initiative – FHRI (Uganda)
52- Front Line Defenders
53- Fundación Regional de Asesoría en Derechos Humanos – INREDH (Ecuador)
54- Groupe LOTUS (DRC)

55- Gulf Center for Human Rights
56- Human Rights Association – IHD (Turkey)
57- Human Rights Association for the Assistance of Prisoners (Egypt)
58- Human Rights Center – HRIDC (Georgia)
59- Human Rights Center « Memorial » (Russia) 
60- Human Rights Center « Viasna » (Belarus)
61- Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
62- Human Rights Foundation of Turkey
63- Human Rights in China
64- Human Rights Mouvement « Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan »
65- Human Rights Sentinel (Ireland)
66- Human Rights Watch
67- I’lam – Arab Center for Media Freedom, Development and Research
68- IFEX 
69- IFoX Turkey – Initiative for Freedom of Expression 
70- Index on Censorship 
71- International Human Rights Organisation « Club des coeurs ardents » (Uzbekistan)
72- International Legal Initiative – ILI (Kazakhstan) 
73- Internet Law Reform Dialogue – iLaw (Thaïland)
74- Institut Alternatives et Initiatives Citoyennes pour la Gouvernance Démocratique – I-AICGD (RDC)
75- Instituto Latinoamericano para una Sociedad y Derecho Alternativos – ILSA (Colombia)
76- Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte (Allemagne)
77- International Service for Human Rights – ISHR
78- Iraqi Al-Amal Association 
79- Jousor Yemen Foundation for Development and Humanitarian Response

80- Justice for Iran
81- Justiça Global (Brasil)
82- Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law 
83- Latvian Human Rights Committee
84- Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
85- League for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran
86- League for the Defense of Human Rights – LADO Romania
87- Legal Clinic « Adilet » (Kyrgyzstan)
88- Liga lidských práv (Czech Republic)
89- Ligue burundaise des droits de l’Homme - ITEKA (Burundi)
90- Ligue des droits de l’Homme (Belgique)
91- Ligue ivoirienne des droits de l’Homme 
92- Ligue sénégalaise des droits humains – LSDH
93- Ligue tchadienne des droits de l’Homme – LTDH
94- Ligue tunisienne des droits de l’Homme – LTDH 
95- MADA – Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom
96- Maharat Foundation (Lebanon)
97- Maison des droits de l’Homme du Cameroun - MDHC
98- Maldivian Democracy Network
99- MARCH Lebanon
100- Media Association for Peace – MAP (Lebanon)
101- MENA Monitoring Group
102- Metro Center for Defending Journalists’ Rights (Iraqi Kurdistan)
103- Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers - International Association of People’s Lawyers
104- Movimento Nacional de Direitos Humanos - MNDH (Brasil)
105- Mwatana Organisation for Human Rights (Yemen)
106- Norwegian PEN
107- Odhikar (Bangladesh)
108- Pakistan Press Foundation
109- PEN America
110- PEN Canada
111- PEN International
112- Promo-LEX (Moldova)
113- Public Foundation – Human Rights Center « Kylym Shamy » (Kyrgyzstan)
114- RAFTO Foundation for Human Rights
115- Réseau Doustourna (Tunisia)
116- SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights
117- Scholars at Risk 
118- Sisters’ Arab Forum for Human Rights – SAF (Yemen)
119- Suara Rakyat Malaysia - SUARAM
120- Taïwan Association for Human Rights – TAHR
121- Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights – FTDES
122- Vietnam Committee for Human Rights
123- Vigilance for Democracy and the Civic State
124- World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers – WAN-IFRA
125- World Organisation Against Torture - OMCT, in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
126- Yemen Organisation for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedoms 
127- Zambia Council for Social Development – ZCSD

For more information, please contact:

·     FIDH: Maryna Chebat, mchebat@fidh.org, +33 6 48 05 91 57, Twitter: @MS_Chebat

·     OMCT: Delphine Reculeau, dr@omct.org, +41 228 09 49 39

·     GCHR: Khalid Ibrahim, khalid@gc4hr.org, +961 70 15 95 52

Parliamentary Assembly: Three Candidates Shortlisted for the 2018 Václav Havel Prize

The Parliamentary Assembly published a report "Three candidates shortlisted for the 2018 Václav Havel Prize" that talked about the 3 candidates "Rosa María Payá, Nabeel Rajab and Oyub Titiev" who were shortlisted for the election of 2018 Václav Havel Prize. The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is mailnly an amount of money, diploma and a trophy and is rewarded annually to a human rights activist as a reward for their outstanding actions in defending human rights in Europe and beyond. The prize winner will be announced on October 8, 2018 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the Václav Havel Library.

Read full report 

UN experts call for release of Nabeel Rajab

The UN panel published on the 13th of August the advanced edited version of opinions adopted by the working group on arbitrary detention, concerning Nabeel Rajab, at its eighty-first session.

The panel called the release of Nabeel Rajab immediately and to “accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law.”

The UN panel couldn’t but notice that Nabeel Rajab ”has been the target of persecution, including deprivation of liberty, for many years and there is no other explanation for this except that he is exercising his right to express such views and convictions” considering that the Bahraini government's attitude could "only be characterized as discriminatory".

 Read full UN release here.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights: Denying the Secretary-General of Haq political Movement his right to health care is a crime which the government is held responsible of

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights stated that the stalling conducted by the government of Bahrain in depriving the political prisoner, Hasan Mushaima, of his right to medical treatment and health care violates the rules of Nelson Mandela in addition to local and international laws, and expresses disregard for the lives of prisoners. This validates the content of the report "Bahrain Prisons: Cemetery of the Livings" which was published last month by BCHR.
BCHR explained that Mushaima, which is over 70 years old, suffers from chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and gout; these diseases require continuous health care and periodic regular checkups.
BCHR reported that the prison's administration prevented the treatment of Mushaima for more than 152 days, this act and behavior cannot be explained or justified, which causes concern over the life of Mushaima. This will lead to serious repercussions of the diseases suffered by Mushaima.
BCHR added that Hassan Mushaima has been deprived of visits for more than 527 days and his family has not been able to see him since. This contradicts the laws governing the rights of prisoners, especially regarding contacting the outside world.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights called on the Government of Bahrain to provide the necessary and appropriate health care regarding the medical condition of Mushaima in a quick and urgent manner. The Center states that any complications regarding his health condition fall under the responsibility of the Bahraini government.

Hasan Mushaima: Endless Suffering

Four Bahraini Human Rights Organizations hold the Bahraini authorities responsible for the deterioration of the health situation of opposition leader Hassan Mushaima

The human rights organizations that signed this statement express their condemnation of the violation of the rights of Hassan Mushaima, 70 years old, whose deprived from receiving medical treatment and proper care in Jau central prison. These organizations hold the Bahraini authorities responsible for Mushaima's health deterioration for its lack of commitment to the law; Mushaima suffers from chronic diseases.

The statements says: According to our information, Mushaima needs treatment of several chronic diseases in specialized hospitals and that he has previously undergone several operations for these diseases, but the prison administration has not completed the treatment and prevent the medicine.

According to previous information received in recent years, despite the high numbers of detainees, specifically in Jau central prison and the dry dock prison, only one doctor is available for one seizure per prison; As a result of this pressure on the doctor, testimonies from the detainees and their relatives says the doctor does not perform medical examinations in all cases, but only give painkillers. The doctor delays the transfer of detainees to hospitals and outpatient clinics, while some detainees are prevented from being transferred to these clinics as a result of the prison administration failing to take them to the medical appointments set by the external health center after the transfer of the prison doctor.

Also, convicted prisoners who wish to receive treatment at private health centers - at their expense - are not enabled to do so. Despite the powers of the prison administration to release prisoners whose life in prison poses a threat to their lives, it often does not work with these powers, except for limited cases of insurmountable diseases. It is clear that the prison authorities in Bahrain are failing to meet the minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners. Where Mushaima and his fellow imprisoned opposition leaders were recently subjected to humiliating inspection of and their personal items, such as books, notes, papers and pens, were arbitrarily confiscated.

The statement pointed out that the family of the political prisoner, Hassan Mushaima has called on the competent authorities and the prison administration to take into account his health status, but no response was ever recieved! It is a matter of concern that this act is deliberate and premeditated and is of acts of revenge. Mushaima has not accepted the family visit since February 2017 because of his refusal to place iron chains linking both his hands and feet which severely restricts his movement. Human rights activists considered this procedure to be humiliating, making prisoners refuse to go to the hospital and refuse to go to the visiting room.

The human rights organizations called upon the concerned authorities to take quick and urgent steps to end the suffering of Mushaima and to allow him to receive the necessary and appropriate treatment. They also urge the authorities to release all prisoners of conscience, especially those suffering from chronic diseases and persons with special needs.

The signatory human rights organizations are: Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights

Thursday 2nd August 2018

Transparency International UK: In Whose Interest?, Analyzing How Corrupt and Repressive Governments seek influence and Legitimacy

Transparency International UK published a report, “In Whose Interest? “ , that talks about corruption and repression in the government of 3 different countries (Azerbaijan, Russia and Bahrain) and how this corruption is affecting the whole country, in addition to measuring the legitimacy of these acts with UK parliamentarians. Mainly when talking about Bahrain, the report included the strong relation between the UK and Bahrain that goes long back to the nineteenth century.

The report mentioned that although Bahrain has a partly-elected National Assembly, the king of Bahrain rules by monarchy. It also showed how the peaceful protests started in 2011 to demand the political, social and economic human rights. The report showed that the Bahraini government responded to these protests with violence since it suppressed the demonstrations and imprisoned the protestors with the help of Saudi Arabia and United Emirates military forces where 30 persons were killed, hundreds were imprisoned and independent newspapers were shut down.

The report mentioned that in 2017, the Bahraini government was continuing the suppression against the protestors and other acts that showed how bad the corruption became and how severe the violence was rising. Since the 90s, the budget of Bahrain was poor, and quarters of the countries revenues were transferred to the royal family where there was no audit to record the monetary transactions. When the government receives the funds, a proportion of the money is spent on defense and security expenditures where the exact amounts and information are not available to the public. According to an audit in 2015, Bahrain reached its highest stage of corruption by spending money on such forces. In addition, land ownership in Bahrain is mainly controlled by the royal family that owns billion-worth pieces of real estate; so the kingdom is spending around 28 billion pounds on real estate when Bahraini citizens are deprived from their rights to housing. After the protests, King Hamad appointed a panel of human rights experts to oversee the condition in Bahrain, and the result was 26 recommendations that the kingdom should adopt, yet only two were temporary applied and then were reversed.

The source added that UK parliamentarians were engaged with Bahrain by the Manama dialog, that observes the corruption and human rights abuses in a country, it was later realized that the Bahraini government was paying secretly for the event and that the government was paying for the trips of 19 parliamentarians since 2007. Alongside with the visits, some of the parliamentarians have provided advisory services directly to the King of Bahrain for almost 14 years.

Read Report

Assessing the Human Rights Situation in Bahrain: Report on Bahrain's Implementation of its ICCPR Obligations

Bahrain Center for Human Rights presented information to the UN Human rights Committee that has  published its report on 26 July .The report mentioned the results concerning the civil and political rights record of countries it examined during its latest session in 3rd and 4th of July. The study included Bahrain file taking into consideration the Government opinion on the first hand and organization and associations on the second one.

Bahrain acceded to the ICCPR in 2006, the only Arab Gulf monarchy to do so (however, Kuwait ratified in 1996). In acceding to the Convention, Bahrain agreed to be bound by the provisions of the ICCPR without the need for an act of signature. In accordance to Article 40 of the ICCPR, Bahrain was required to submit a periodic treaty report to the HRC on the measures adopted within one year of ratifying the convention and maintains an affirmative obligation to submit follow-up reports every four years thereafter. Bahrain has yet to submit either the initial report or any follow-up reports to the HRC.

The head of the delegation of the Kingdom of Bahrain mentioned in his speech in front of the UN Human Rights Committee that Bahrain abide the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This was based on provisions of the Constitution claiming that it is being applied.  He also noted to the initiatives taken on the events of February 2011. Saying that this happened to solve conflicts by applying the Law.

The report presented by the BCHR noted several irregularities of the Law and violations for freedom and human rights since 2011 till now were presented.

 Bahrain has seen significant regression in its respect for important civil and political freedoms and has developed an unfair justice and penitentiary system to punish political and human rights activists alike

The report mentioned many violations such as:

  • Freedom of Expression, Assembly, Association and Religion
  • Arbitrary Detention and Torture
  • Prison Conditions

The BCHR supported the conclusions and recommendations reached by the Commission in the following report.