Bahrain Addresses U.N. Amid Public Intimidation of Activists
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed al-Khalifa addressed the United Nations on Thursday, noting “serious challenges” to Bahrain’s security and stability, which he said the country had “addressed with full transparency, commitment and honesty.” He added that Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Issa Al-Khalifa proposed the creation of an Arab court of human rights “to lay down the foundations of an enabling environment for human rights in the Arab world,” based on models such as the Inter-America Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.
Meanwhile, an article published [Ar.] in the pro-government newspaper al-Watan featured the names and faces of activists ringed in red, which is seen as a threat in Bahrain and often a precursor to arrest. Citing growing frustration among human rights activists about the Obama Administration’s Bahrain policies, Brian Dooley noted that ”Washington must find a new way forward. It’s unclear what the Obama administration sees as its “Plan B” in Bahrain, but it can’t afford to continue with the volatility and unpredictability of the present regime.”
Physicians for Human Rights issued a press release welcoming the Bahraini Public Prosecutor’s decision to charge two police officers in connection with the torture of medical professionals, while condemning “the government’s continuing violation of medical neutrality by denying access to medical care for people aligned with opposition groups.” PHR called for full implementation of all BICI recommendations, including investigations of allegations of excessive use of force, training security forces in UN best practices, and compensating victims of torture and maltreatment.