Speaking during Thursday’s discussion about the outcomes of Bahrain’s Universal Period Review (UPR), a total of ten rights groups, including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, highlighted the dramatic deterioration in the kingdom’s human rights situation.
HRW’s Laila Matar, called on Manama to “implement the most important recommendations” that came out of Bahrain’s last UPR session in May.
“Bahrain’s glossy PR campaign around its UPR engagement cannot be allowed to cover up its complete disregard for the substantive recommendations made nor the human rights crisis on the ground,” Matar said at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The UPR, which accesses the human rights record of UN member states, produced over 170 recommendations for Bahrain.
But according to former Bahraini MP and current chair of the SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights, Jawad Fairooz, Bahrain has been transformed into a “police state” and Manama has made no real effort to implement reforms.
For its part, Amnesty International pointed out that the regime’s campaign of repression against dissenting voices has only intensified since June 2016.
And although the kingdom’s Assistant Foreign Minister, Abdulla Bin Faisal Aldoseri, told the forum that his government was committed to protecting human rights and cooperating with all relevant mechanisms, Manama’s policies tell a completely different story.
Amnesty reminded those attending Thursday’s discussion that countless Bahraini human rights defenders have been interrogated and banned from traveling during this month’s session of the Human Rights Council.
Manama’s record in implementing UPR recommendations is equally worrying; since 2014, the regime has implemented one out of 176 recommendations.