U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Bahrain

As Delivered by Michele Roulbet

Universal Periodic Review 27th Session
Geneva,
May 1, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President. The United States welcomes the Bahrain delegation.

We commend Bahrain for maintaining institutions which promote accountability.  We note a decrease in reports of excessive use of force, and the provision of human rights training for security forces.  We acknowledge achievements in promoting women’s equality.

We regret restrictions on peaceful assembly and association, including actions against political societies and Shia clerics, and obstruction of travel of human rights activists.

We remain concerned by reports of inconsistent fair trial guarantees, compelled or coerced confessions, denial of evidence and legal counsel, and arbitrary citizenship revocations. We call for political dialogue and reconciliation.

We recommend Bahrain:

  1. Review convictions, commute sentences, or drop charges for all persons imprisoned solely for non-violent political expression.
  1. Reduce restrictions on peaceful assembly and association, allow individuals to participate freely in independent political societies, consistent with the Constitution and National Action Charter, and cease unwarranted legal action against Wifaq [wi-FAHK] and Wa’ad [wa-AHD] for engaging in protected activities.
  1. Accept a visit from the High Commissioner or a UN special rapporteur to identify steps to strengthen human rights institutions.

Thank you, Mr. President.