PRESS RELEASE: Leaked documents show Bahrain attempting to gain seat on UN Human Rights Council


IHRC has exclusively obtained leaked documents that show that Bahrain is attempting to gain a seat on the UN Human Rights Advisory Council.  The bid is being backed by the chair of the Organisation of Islamic Countries, Pakistan and, disgracefully, Human Rights organisations within Bahrain.

IHRC finds it deplorable that a country such as Bahrain which has severe Human Rights abuses, is involved in the subjugation of peaceful protestors by force and that has stifled democracy in its own country should have the audacity to try and apply for a seat at the UN Human Rights Advisory Council. The Bahraini leadership has nothing it can teach the world when it comes to Human Rights.

The reasoning behind this bid can only be to clean up Bahrain’s image on human rights and to make sure Bahrain has a voice within the Human Rights Council diverting attention away from its own violations.

The uprising in Bahrain, though rooted in years of anti-regime protests and opposition, began on 14th February 2011. Troops representing Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have violently suppressed demonstrators since 14th March 2011. There have been 79 killed and hundreds injured in the uprising. 

Raza Kazim, IHRC Spokesperson, said “This is disgraceful that such a country with an appalling human rights record should be on the Human Rights Advisory Council.  We ask the UN and other countries around the world to reject Bahrain’s application.”

Notes to editors

1)      The BCHR estimates that there are currently 517 political prisoners.
2)      Lawyers estimate that there are around 750, approximately 320 convicted and approximately 450 detained.
3)      Part of the story has been published here:
4)      For interviews please email or call 020 8904 4222.[ENDS]

IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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