Call is interference in Bahrain’s domestic affairs, panel says
Manama: A parliamentary committee in Bahrain has dismissed UN human rights spokesperson’s statement as “unjustified and irresponsible interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom.”
On Friday, Ravina Shamdasani, the spokesperson for the UN human rights office in Geneva, called on Bahrain “to immediately and unconditionally release” Nabeel Rajab, a Bahraini citizen sentenced to five years.
“No one can accept such statements regarding the integrity and independence of the Bahraini judiciary,” the Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Committee of the Shura Council, the upper chamber of the bicameral parliament, said.
“We condemn such a surprising statement by officials at the United Nations and we call on all parties to be accurate in issuing their decisions and positions towards Bahrain,” the committee said.
At the same time, there is a need to set up a mechanism to deal with parties and organisations that base their statements on suspicious information and reports, and to ensure the existence of open channels for mutual and continuous communication, the committee said.
“Such a mechanism will help provide reliable information from official sources and will contribute to correcting the false image of Bahrain. The Kingdom is pursuing a policy of mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and looks forward to everyone adopting such an approach.”
Last month, the Cassation Court upheld the five-year sentence decided in 2015 by a lower court against Rajab who was put on trial on charges of using social media in March 2015 to disseminate false news and rumours during wartime and to insult a foreign state and the Ministry of the Interior.