“Victims of Torture on June 26, 2009″
To stop the “Torture in Bahrain”
The 2009 Annual report of the Observatory :BAHRAIN
THE OBSERVATORY for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders :BAHRAIN
The review by the Human Rights Council member States of Bahrain’s report during the Universal Periodic Review in April 2008 provided an opportunity for NGOs to launch a public debate on the situation of human rights in the country, particularly on the question of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and the systematic discrimination faced by the Shia majority. Moreover, in May 2008, the Government launched an action plan in the presence of a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in which the Minister of Foreign Affairs affirmed the determination of his country to establish a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), which should begin its work in January 2009. However, since that announcement, several Bahraini human rights NGOs have repeatedly reminded the authorities of the necessity for this national institution to conform with the Paris Principles .
Forty IFEX members protest attacks on free expression
(BCHR/IFEX) – Free expression advocates from around the world gathered this week in Oslo, Norway, at the IFEX General Meeting. Forty IFEX members signed on to the following statement, calling on the Bahraini authorities to address recent attacks on free expression in that country:
In the past few months and since the posting of the new Minister of Information and Culture, Mai Al-Khalifa, the Bahraini authorities have taken severe measures to clamp down on all forms of freedom of expression. This includes preventing access to hundreds of websites, blogs and internet outlets – even those concerned with human rights and non-subversive issues.
Authorities have waged a campaign against free expression, prosecuting writers, journalists and bloggers for practicing their profession, and preventing human rights defenders, activists and dissidents from addressing the public through media, internet and other fora. Moreover, the authorities have led defamation campaigns, through its controlled media, against activists and human rights defenders who express their dissenting views and openly discuss public affairs.