The official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported on Monday that the kingdom would host the permanent headquarters of the Arab Human Rights Court following its approval at an Arab League meeting in Cairo.
However, Maryam AlKhawaja, the acting head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, said the court's creation was a public relations stunt that would do nothing to improve the rights of those in Bahrain, or other Gulf states.
"The Gulf states are not held accountable for their human rights abuses. No one will take this seriously. For them to have a court such as this is a slap in the face to those who have documented abuses in Bahrain, for which there have been no consequences."
She said that if the court does become established, it would be used as a political tool. "It will probably file against people like Bashar al-Assad," she said, referring to the president of Syria. "But it will have no role in the Gulf countries and I would not be surprised if it was used to go after those who are actually trying to promote civil society."
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