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Wed 4 Jul 2012 04:08 PM

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Bahrain eyes seat on UN human rights committee

Gulf state nominates Saeed Mohammed Al Faihani for advisory committee post at UNHRC

Bahrain eyes seat on UN human rights committee
Bahrain has seen near daily protests since the start of the unrest in early 2011

Bahrain is lobbying for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council's advisory committee as the Gulf state moves to clean up its public image following its bloody crackdown on Arab Spring protestors last year.

The Gulf state has submitted letters endorsing its “entirely qualified” nominee Saeed Mohammed Al Faihani, the Guardian reported, citing documents and letters sent to the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation seeking their support.

Letters from Bahrain’s National Institution for Human Rights and several local government-approved human rights organisations have endorsed the proposal, the newspaper said.

The advisory committee, which is due to elect members in September, acts as a think-tank for the UN Human Rights Council.

Bahrain faced international condemnation from governments and human rights groups following its brutal crackdown on the mostly Shi'a demonstrators took to the streets last year demanding an end to sectarian discrimination and more say in government.

A Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report said in November said 35 people died during the unrest, which began in February 2011 after revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. Five people died due to torture.

Officials last week said Bahrain would pay a total of $2.6m in compensation to 17 families following the deaths during the Arab Spring protests.

Mrs. Smith 7 years ago

For Bahrain to be on the Human Rights Council would be absurd and insulting to the thousands of it's citizens who have been affected by torture and discrimination at the hands of the government. No compensation has been paid, in fact, no one has taken responsibility for the five deaths by torture in custody or the other 95 people who have been murdered by security forces since February of 2011.
This is just another absurd public relations move by the regime that seeks to ignore and hide their transgressions. 28 nations have just condemned Bahrain's human rights record and have demanded that the government live up to the standards of human rights to which they are obliged.
This is just another offensive PR stunt for which Bahrain pays millions of dollars to public relations firms in the US and UK.

Mr. T 7 years ago

The Bahraini government has taken concrete steps to bring to justice those behind torturing civillians. Currently, there are a number of cases before the courts, in which several police officers are standing trial. Compensation for the victims are being handled through a fund set up by his majesty the king, which, if I am not mistaken, will begin paying compensation very soon. Of the 95 people you mention have been killed, a number of those are public security forces.

When the government takes concrete steps to improve, you say it's a publicity stunt; if they don't do anything, you say they aren't doing anything.

Make up your mind where you stand.

You must be one of those people working for an entity disguised as a human rights organization.

Mrs. Smith 7 years ago

And, Mr. T: The Bahrain regime thinks SAYING they're doing something to "improve human rights" is sufficient, but it isn't the same thing as DOING something. So far it's only unsubstantiated claims. And the 95 people who were murdered are all democracy protesters or innocent by-standers killed by weapons-grade CS gas that's shot INTO HOMES.
Point-blank shotgun blasts, using teargas canisters as projectile weapons and concussion grenades thrown at people, and CS used in enclosed spaces, i.e. homes, mosques, etc. are all crimes prohibited by all the human rights treaties to which Bahrain is a signatory.

Budaiya Calling 7 years ago

Mrs. Smith (if that is her real name) is either misinformed or willfully blind. The people killed during or because of the unrest in Bahrain has not reached 95. The Country has taken concrete actions to fix the human rights abuses of the past as any sensible amount of research will show. No talk is ever mentioned of the local citizens who have been killed by the violent protesters through the use of IEDs etc.

resident expat 7 years ago

Love the way negative comments are coming from the USA. Where do they get their info from????? Must be factual. I don't think so as it never is. Mrs Smith, have you ever been to Bahrain? Do you know where it is? What gives you the right to pass judgement on a country where you dont live it on a day to day basis. cant wait for your feedback. I have been here for 14 years. What gives you the right to pass judgement? Look forward to your reply.

Amercian in Kuwait 7 years ago

I have been to Bahrain many times.

Compensation is a JOKE to rationalize killing people. Put the perps in jail and it will NEVER happen.