PRESS RELEASE –
IHRC has written to the United Nations seeking its intervention in assisting to repatriate apporximately 2000 Bahraini citizens who are being prevented from returning to their country from Iran.
Reports suggest that approximately 1000 Bahrainis are stuck in Mashhad with another 1000 elsewhere in Iran after Manama blocked them from returning on the grounds that they may be carrying the Covid-19 virus
Although most if not all of the small number of cases diagnosed in Bahrain link back to Iran, there is nothing to suggest that any of the stranded citizens have contracted Coronavirus.
Fear and panic, rather than good science appear to have driven the government’s decision. The decision is prejudicial to Bahraini citizens’ rights to be readmitted to their country and also to their health and general welfare.
Leaving its citizens to fend for themselves in a country that is struggling to fight its own outbreak of Covid-19 also puts them at increased risk of contracting the virus.
The decision seems all the bizarre considering the Bahraini government’s evacuation of its citizens from Iraq following the US’ assassination of General Qassem Soleimani in January. Then the government arranged for the national carrier to bring home up to 1500 citizens whom it considered to be at risk from reprisal attacks.
Iran is already struggling to contain the crisis which has been exacerbated by US sanctions that have led to a severe shortage of medical equipment and medicines in the country.
We urge you to take all the necessary steps to pressure the government of Bahrain to repatriate its citizens immediately.
The letter can be read in full at https://www.ihrc.org.uk/news/articles/25291-letter-to-un-re-repatriation-of-bahraini-citizens-stranded-in-iran/
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222