Bahrain Rights Remain “Serious Concern”

Bahrain Rights Remain “Serious Concern”Bahrain Rights Remain “Serious Concern”

Thirty-two countries on Monday raised the alarm over the human rights situation in Bahrain, urging Manama to investigate reports of torture and other abuses and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“The human rights situation in Bahrain remains an issue of serious concern to us,” Swiss Ambassador Alexandre Fasel said, speaking on behalf of the 32 countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Germany, AFP reported.

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council, fasel said his diplomat colleagues were concerned about reports of “harassment and imprisonment of persons exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression and of peaceful assembly and association, including human rights defenders.”

The countries also said they were worried by “the lack of sufficient guarantees of fair trial, (and) by the detention of minors due to their participation in demonstrations,” and urged the Bahraini government to “look at alternatives to detention”.

Fasel voiced concern “that there is insufficient accountability for human rights violations” and expressed alarm at reports that people reporting human rights abuses or cooperating with the United Nations were facing reprisals.

The countries called on Manama to “appropriately address all reports of torture and ill-treatment of detainees and ensure full investigation and prosecution of these cases”.

Human Rights Watch also joined the call for Bahrain to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.

It hailed Monday’s joint statement before the rights council, but said it was “extremely disappointing that some states such as Italy and Spain put politics before rights and did not lend their voice in support”.