Human Rights Defenders Expose Bahraini Government Violations at UN Side Event

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Today, September 22nd, The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and Human Rights Wath (HRW) held a Side Event entitled ’Crisis in Bahrain: Torture Revived, Crackdown on Human Rights Defenders’. The event was held parallel to the 15th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and was also co-sponsored by the Bahraini Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR).

Laila Dashti, of the BYSHR, Maryam Al-Khawaja, of the BCHR, and Joe Stork, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North African for HRW, spoke about the deteriorating situation in the Kingdom of Bahrain and provided concrete examples of arbitrary detention, alleged torture and government reprisals against human rights defenders who raised concerns over the situation.

Due to recent developments in Bahrain, Laila Dashti was banned from travelling to engage in the UN Human Rights Council’s happenings. Nevertheless she was able to address the panel using Skype. On another note, Nabeel Rajab, president of BCHR was also supposed to be present at the event, but couldn’t participate due to imminent threats of reprisals.
Nevertheless, Dashti and Al-Khawaja gave numerous examples of the reprisals from the events of the past three weeks, while Stork talked about the dangerous precedent for human rights violations in Bahrain and warned of potential future backsliding by the government on its international commitments.

During a discussion with the audience, the panellists and the chair, Ziad Abdel Tawab of CIHRS discussed reasons for the recent crackdown, amongst which was the upcoming parliamentary elections. The panel concluded by emphasising the importance of international condemnation of recent events.

The invitation for the event is available on the following link

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