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Back Activities Alerts Action Alert: UNESCO / Bahrain – Bahrain to Chair UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee whilst destroying its own heritage

Action Alert: UNESCO / Bahrain – Bahrain to Chair UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee whilst destroying its own heritage

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IHRC urges all campaigners to wirte to the Director-General of UNESCO calling for the removal of Bahrain from the committee’s list.

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action Required
4. Sample Letter


1. Summary

On 19 June 2011 Bahrain will be chairing the 35th Session of The World Heritage Committee at UNESCO in Paris, France.

IHRC urges all campaigners to write letters to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO calling for the removal of Bahrain from the committee’s list. Furthermore, condemning the decision to give Bahrain the chairing position while destroying its own heritage, including demolishing mosques, destroying traditional jobs and its social natives.


2. Background

The World Heritage Committee consists of 21 States who examine the proposals made by State Parties, in order to identify cultural and natural properties of outstanding universal value to be protected under itsConvention and further added to the World Heritage List.

The Committee members are:

Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Iraq, Jordan, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates.

Bahrain is currently undertaking brutal crackdown on protests with the support of GCC troops from Saudi Arabia.  It will be chairing UNESCO’s 35th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Paris.

Bahrain has been carrying out a systematic destruction of heritage and culture over the past 50 years, where old buildings, palm tree huts, were demolished as well as a group of 21 ancient and licensed mosques, including one that is more than 640 years old. Furthermore many traditional industries such as carpentry have been destroyed.

Bahrain is a chain of islands where residents in the past used to rely on fishing as their main source of income. Bahraini residents feel that their history is being stamped out due to the demolition of their heritage and culture by the Bahraini government and feel that it is hypocritical for that same government to be chairing this event.


3. Action required

Write to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO calling for the removal or Bahrain from the World Heritage Committee’s list and condemning the decision to give Bahrain the chairing position.

4. Sample letter
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A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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[Your name]
[Your address]

Irina Bokova,
Director-General of UNESCO
7, place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris
07 SP France

[Date]

Dear Ms Bokova,

Re: Bahrain Chairing the 35th Session of The World Heritage Committee

I am utterly shocked and disappointed at the decision to have Bahrain chair the 35th Session of The World Heritage Committee on 19 June 2011.

Bahrain is currently undertaking a brutal crackdown on protests and demonstrations against the government.  Further Bahrain has been carrying out a systematic destruction of heritage and culture over the past 50 years, where old buildings, palm tree huts, were demolished as well as a group of 21 ancient and licensed mosques including one that is more than 640 years old. Furthermore many traditional industries have been destroyed.
Bahraini history is being stamped out due to the demolition of their heritage and culture by the Bahraini government and it is hypocritical for that same government to be chairing this event.

Islamic culture, in a country in which most of its citizens are Muslims, has been undermined where mosques have been demolished, grave yards and Qurans burnt and violated.

I urge you, as the Director-General of UNESCO, to remove Bahrain from the list of the World Heritage Committee as a member and stop it from chairing the committee’s session for violating and destroying its own heritage and culture and oppressing its people in the first place.


I look forward to your reply regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]


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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below

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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below.

"And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper."
Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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