By Staff writer
Non-governmental Arab parties ‘shocked’ at negative comment in UN meeting
Bahrain has reportedly defended the measures it has taken to uphold law and order in the country following negative comments made by United Nations officials at Monday’s 32nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The comments made by Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad criticized Bahrain’s decision to restrict freedom of speech and protests as well as revoke the citizenships of almost 250 Bahrainis since 2013, said the report.
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister’s Assistant Abdulla Al Doseri said the comments did not reflect the ‘reality’ in Bahrain.
“We reject the negative comments made by the (UN) High Commissioner about our country which does not reflect the reality. These negative comments are false and it is disappointing for our country,” said Al Doseri.
“We need to be realistic about development of human rights,” he said, adding that each country has a right to deal with threats to its security and stability in its own way.
“Terrorist acts undermine the security of our people, similar to other crimes like drug trafficking. All measures taken by Bahrain are within the law and aimed at bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
Al Doseri said Bahrain did not ban freedom of expression as it is entitled to individuals in Bahrain’s Constitution, but it would restrict it once it affects public order.
“Authorities have the right to intervene to maintain public order and this happens all over the world,” said Al Doseri. “But to accuse Bahrain of oppressing its people is unjustified as the government has taken several reform measures for social and economic development of the people.”
Non-governmental Arab parties were ‘shocked’ at the negative comments made by the UN High Commissioner, according to Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS) secretary-general Faisal Fulad, said the report.
“The UN High Commissioner made no mention of the situation in Fallujah, Al Houthi rebels in Yemen, and Iran’s interference in the region, but chose to target Bahrain for the decisions it took,” he said.
“Even some European countries are discussing plans to revoke nationalities of terror suspects. So there is nothing wrong if Bahrain actually takes steps to punish people found guilty.”
The official said Bahrain’s delegation will have to “expect more black, especially from European countries” for its suspension of Al Wefaq National Islamic Society on Tuesday.
The decision was due to alleged ‘political agenda’ used by the organisation, according to Bahrain’s Ambassador to the UK Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.
“#Bahrain respects the work the #HRC is tasked with but won’t accept it being used by rogue individuals/organisations for a political agenda,” he said on his official Twitter account.