Pillay Condemns Bahrain’s “Reprisals and Intimidation” against Critics
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay included Bahrain among the 16 nations accused of allowing government members to undertake “reprisals and intimidation against individuals” critical of regimes. Pillay said, “People may be threatened or harassed by government officials, including through public statements by high-level authorities. Associations and NGOs may see their activities monitored or restricted. Smear campaigns against those who cooperate with the U.N. may be organized. Threats may be made via phone calls, text messages or even direct contacts. People may also be arrested, beaten or tortured and even killed.” The report ranges from June 2011 to July 2012 and cites additional cases in Algeria, Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan, among others.
Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists called for the immediate release of Ahmed Radhi, a freelance journalist who was first detained four months ago after making critical comments about Bahraini-Saudi relations. Radhi now faces terrorism and other anti-state charges. CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said ”Bahrain must halt this practice of prosecuting critical journalists for their dissenting views.”
Finally, Mehdi Hassan writes that “While the fighting in Syria is debated in the corridors of the United Nations building and reported on the front pages of the world’s newspapers, the unrest in Bahrain is quietly ignored by our leaders,” and he calls the approach of the U.S. and U.K. “a moral disgrace.”