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Thu 17 Mar 2011 03:59 PM

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UN human rights chief says Bahraini security actions are illegal

'Blatant violation of international law' must stop immediately, United Nations' Navi Pillay says

UN human rights chief says Bahraini security actions are illegal
Bahraini National guard arrest a man believed to be a journalist as he walked towards Pearl Roundabout in the Bahraini capital Manama, on March 16, 2011 (Getty Images)

Arrests and beatings of protesters and medical personnel by security forces in Bahrain are a “blatant violation of international law” that must stop immediately, said United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay.

“My office has been receiving desperate calls and e-mails from numerous individuals in Bahrain, terrified about the armed forces’ intentions,” she said on Thursday in an e-mailed statement from Geneva. “There are reports of arbitrary arrests, killings, beatings of protesters and of medical personnel, and of the takeover of hospitals and medical centers by various security forces.”

Pillay said Bahraini police, defence forces and troops from the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Peninsula Shield Force are responsible for the “shocking and illegal conduct.” She called on them to “immediately leave healthcare facilities and cease their harassment and intimidation of health professionals.”

Bahrain has been trying to end more than a month of unrest led by majority Shiites that has left about a dozen people dead and parts of the capital, Manama, paralysed. The government declared a three-month state of emergency on March 15 after troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states arrived to support the administration.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has offered a national dialogue and Crown Prince Salman has said he’s committed to talks. Opposition groups have dismissed the offers.

Bahrain is a logistical hub and command centre for US naval operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Indian Ocean. It is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which protects oil supply lines that pass through the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

Susan 8 years ago

the above is totally wrong, i am an expatriate from India and being here for last 6 years, Bahrain is a beautiful country with harmony . all of our life put to trouble by the terrorist. they were protester since last month. but they start attacking expatriate and our king invited them for dialogue . i request the Human right chief to send his envoy to come and talk with Expatriate British, American, Indian, Canadian etc. and we can prove in many videos which we filmed in our mobile Camera. not edited one. i am so sad to read the statement of the Chief of HRW.

Muhammad Farhan 8 years ago

I am a bahraini citizen i agree that has your point of view it could be illeagal what are police is doing.This is'nt happening first time in bahrain yes i agree it got the media this time.Sir you should study the whole case and then give your report on it.our government have all the proves please check them.sorry if you dont like anything of mine in this message.Thankyou

Annonymous 8 years ago

I am a bahraini medical staff member in salmaniya.. I want my story of what happened in salmaniya to be told to people.

Being a human being it is my duty to let the ppl know the reality of what happened in salmaniya on saturday night and early part of Sunday 13th march 2011 in salmaniya emergency I am narrating to you the incident about the pakistani labor workers who came to emergency,the arrival of pakistanis beaten to death was hailed as a moral victory for narrow minded medical staff which were chanting victory slogans as they had achieved a victory and against our king these poor labor guys were taken out of ambulances as they had come to a prison not a hospital. The poor labor guys whom i talked to were innocent laborers who had been sleeping in their rooms...(CONT.)

Annonymous 8 years ago

in manama when armed ppl attacked them in about 30-40 with knives,swords and sticks,these guys got fractures,wound lacerations,and were then set on fire by inhuman terrorists,after a delayed of initial treatment some of doctors and nurses refuse to treat them saying that these are loyal ppl of government and should not get treatment,one of critically injured was left to die as they thought there was no purpose saving his life.The patients were shifted to another room where i saw them being threatened to say what the false media and hospital staff ppl wanted tthem to say,they wanted to portray that thses guys were in ministry or army (contd.)

annonymous 8 years ago

But now the army has taken over the hospital i am hopeful good changes will come and i welcome this move by the government,these in human staff had made this hospital into a terror camp. I sometimes feel like I am working in iran not Bahrain where ppl are forced to practice unethical things.

Abu Abdullah 8 years ago

when these so called opposition kiling innocent labour expat, then you also say about that incidents and now govt try to control peace and stability in the country so people of bahrain lived here without any fears.then you critisize the security forces,sorry to say but can you let in your country that some people terrorise the whole nation and diturb all economy of the country.i think you must say,no to these peoples who brainwashed by clerics.So please think about your statment. thanx

Saad 8 years ago

Susan, it is hard for me to believe that you are as you say an expatriate from India. The protestors never attacked anyone. All they wanted was representation in parliament. Like India and so many other countries have.

If this is disputed, then the King should allow journalists to do their job and the facts will come into light. Arrest journalists and the facts will vanish into darkness.

renen lunas 8 years ago

i'm here for 11 years and all what you are saying about bahrain is very wrong, those people (terrorist) are the ones terrorizing the bahrainis and residents, all the videos and pictures they are giving you irresponsible people and terrorist media are all fake not true. Bahrain is a beautiful and peaceful country, no atrocities here and those people is the one responsible for all the atrocities that's been committed here, please don't twist reality by believing only lies they are sending the UN, US, MEDIA etc. etc. They are not touched for the whole month to laid their demands in the table BUT THEY WANT CHAOS, the news in the salmania hospital they are the one who terrorized the hospital not the gov't. nor the militay and police, poor residents people were killed defenseless by this people. what happened to you people? if u really uphold human rights wake up UN HUMAN RIGHTS be wise enough not like this, you are the one inciting human rights violation by listening to lies.

Hamad 8 years ago

I am bahraini national and the above statement of the Chief is totally wrong. sir you have made this statement on people emails & telephone calls. if this is the thing i will keep sending you emails in support of Bahrain Goverment then will u give us another statement. I would like to say please come down to bahrain and see whats happening and then make a final statements. thank you

Sergey 8 years ago

Above all is 100% wrong. I am an expatriate from Russia and I am here for the last 3 and half year. I was here here from the beginning of these protesters. I agree everybody has a right to free speech and protest peacefully. But these protests dont mean to harm or hurt anybody,till the last days it was peace then escalated they started attacking civilians,students,expatriates.People of Bahrain started feeling unsafe,and it was a threat to Bahrain soureignity. King of Bahrain invited them to a dialog which they didn't want. From the beginning they had a bigger agenda than their "basic rights" to takeover the kingdom and make a terrorist country like Iran. I am just visitor here,but i loved this country. When i see these protests i felt sorry....