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Ambassador Donahoe’s Meeting with Bahraini Delegation on the Sidelines of the U.N. Human Rights Council
September 11, 2013

The United States Mission to the United Nations in Geneva notes its deep disappointment and concern over gross factual inaccuracies presented in Bahraini press following U.S. Ambassador to the Human Rights Council Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe’s meeting with a Bahraini delegation at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.  On September 9 the United States joined 46 other nations in supporting a Swiss-led statement of concern about the human rights situation in Bahrain on the opening day of the Human Rights Council.   Following the delivery of that statement, a government delegation from Bahrain requested a meeting with Ambassador Donahoe on the sidelines of the event. The Ambassador listened to the delegation’s viewpoints and reiterated U.S. concerns about the Ministry of Justice’s Order restricting political societies’ meetings with international diplomats and organizations; the delays in rescheduling Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez’s visit; and concerns with issuing visas to international organizations and human rights groups interested in visiting Bahrain.  The Ambassador noted the United States’ willingness to work with Bahrain in pursuing human rights reform and working towards a political solution through inclusive dialogue.  At the meeting, the Ambassador further noted that the Government of Bahrain has a responsibility to work with members of the opposition and build trust through confidence building measures.  She explained that punitive measures contained within the National Assembly’s recommendations and the Ministry of Justice’s Order sent a negative message to the opposition and raised concern in the international community over the human rights situation in Bahrain.  The statements attributed to the Ambassador in the Bahrain News Agency and Gulf Daily News stories are inaccurate.