Assistant Secretary Posner and Ambassador Donahoe Discuss UPR on Bahrain
19 Sep 2012
Assistant Secretary Posner:
(..) What we said today is that progress is slowing down, and that’s a concern. The government needs to be attentive to accountability, and the fact that a number of people who committed, police and others who committed violations last February and March have not been held accountable. There are a number of people in jail or in criminal process for cases that appear to us to be based on an expression of peaceful dissent, and in our view everyone who is peacefully dissenting and expressing their views has the right to do that and shouldn’t be prosecuted.
There are also issues relating to police reform, issues relating to labor.
We will continue to raise these issues on a bilateral basis with the government of Bahrain. We appreciate the fact that they’re open to that discussion but there is a long way to go.
A final comment. The human rights discussion, the BICI discussion, the UPR is set in a broader context. These issues, these human rights issues need to be addressed to provide an environment where the society can engage in a meaningful dialogue or negotiation over its political future. That’s where Bahrain needs to go. Bahraini people need to do it. It needs to be the government and the various opposition forces coming together to decide their political future.