3/14/2013

Bahrain Human Rights Monitor Meet UN High Commissioner of Human Rights

 Bahrain Human Rights Monitor Meet UN High Commissioner of Human Rights
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - In the meeting, Ms. Navi Pillay, said that Bahrain would be a focus of her office’s attention, speaking to NGO members in Geneva in the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council and during which the High Commissioner held a special meeting with NGOs. Pillay said the meeting was a “valuable opportunity for a direct exchange”.

During the one-hour meeting, two Bahraini women spoke from the floor about the ongoing human rights abuses in Bahrain. Ms. Bushra Alhendi and Dr. Nada Dhaif addressed the High Commissioner and raised concerns of violations against freedom of speech and expression, torture and the recent killings of two young men.

The two made requests of a permanent office for the High Commissioner in Bahrain and for feedback on the High Commissioner delegation's visit to Bahrain last December.

In response Ms. Pillay stated that the visit in December was a “first step” in deciding if they wish to have a permanent office in Bahrain, adding that this visit was to assess the situation and meet with officials and members of civil society.

She also made clear her office's concern over the situation in Bahrain and assured that it “will continue to be a focus of attention for my office”. She said that her office is pushing the matter in their “usual way” as confirmed by the Head of the Middle East Section Mr. Hany Megally who said they are engaging with Bahrain officials on a number of issues, including the stripping of nationalities.

Mr. Megally added that accountability for abuses is also a key area of work for the office and said "we want to engage with Bahrain in order to see progress". He also said he was “heartened by dialogue” and hopes that it will continue.

Ms. Alhendi highlighted that although dialogue is currently taking place, the various human rights violations are ongoing in Bahrain.

The High Commissioner also took the opportunity to salute Dr. Nada Dhaif for treating injured protesters and for her brave stand as a human rights defender in Bahrain.