For Immediate Release: September 10, 2013
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First welcomes yesterday’s statement signed by 47 countries, including the United States, that expresses concern over human rights violations in Bahrain. The statement comes off the heels of remarks made this week by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who called on the regime to respect the rights to freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association.
“Despite spending millions of dollars on public relations, the Bahraini regime is learning that its international reputation is falling and more countries are willing to take a stand against its repression,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “The way to stop this sort of criticism is to introduce real reform and to fix the problems, not just pretend to.”
Yesterday’s statement, led by the Swiss government and signed at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, noted “… the ongoing violation of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the repression of demonstrations. We expect officials and protestors to refrain from any violence. Furthermore, we continue to be concerned about the continued harassment and imprisonment of persons exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression, including of human rights defenders. We are also concerned about the cases of revocation of nationality without due process, some of which might lead to statelessness. Lastly, we are concerned that those alleged to have committed human rights violations are often not held accountable.”
Last year the number of countries signing onto a similar statement about Bahrain was 44. Joining the government of Switzerland in the statement were the governments of Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, the United States of America and Uruguay.
For more information about the statement or to speak with Dooley, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at email@example.com or 202-370-3323.