To the Governments of: Albania, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Slovak Republic, and Spain
24 September 2015
RE: HRC30 Joint Statement on Bahrain
We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations, write to voice our support for the joint
statement on the human rights situation in Bahrain delivered by Switzerland at the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). Since the last joint statement on Bahrain in June 2014, the human rights situation in the kingdom has deteriorated significantly. The government continues to effectively curtail Bahrainis rights to free and peaceful expression, assembly and association.
Human rights defenders, political opposition leaders, members of the media, and youth have
faced intimidation, arrest, arbitrary detention and acts of reprisal. Therefore, it is vital to refocus international attention on Bahrain and encourage the government to constructively address its human rights abuses by signing the new joint statement.
Public pressure on Bahrain continues to prove effective in safeguarding these rights in Bahrain. Following international criticism and pressure from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and from States, the king of Bahrain pardoned Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, after serving over four months in prison for a tweet. Furthermore, OHCHR’s negotiations for a program of technical capacity building in Bahrain has stalled over the intervening months since the last joint statement.
It is therefore critical to act now to maintain the level of international concern on the human
rights situation in Bahrain. To abandon the collective attention on Bahrain in a time of such
deterioration sends a dangerous message to the kingdom of Bahrain, and undermines both
internal and external efforts to foster reform. Switzerland has indicated that this session’s joint
statement will be open for additional signatories throughout the session. We therefore call on
your government, to recommit to supporting human rights in Bahrain, and to add your support to this joint statement.
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR)
Bahrain Institute of Rights and Democracy (BIRD)
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)
European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR)
Human Rights Watch
Index on Censorship
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
World Organization Against Torture (OMCT)