On June 22 2015, the Head of International Relations and Women & Children's Rights Advocacy Nedal Al Salman of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), delivered an oral intervention on behalf of ADHRB and other NGOs during the ongoing 29th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. click on the youtube video below to watch and listen to the full intervention, or scroll down to read the full text of the intervention.
Mr. Vice President,
On behalf of Al Salam Foundation, Bahrain centre for human rights, Bird and Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, I would like to thank Special Rapporteur Heyns for his remarks on Bahrain.
Arbitrary executions in countries like my country Bahrain, where a pattern of executions from torture and excessive use of force exist as a direct appraisal to the exercise of expression, opinion and assembly. For example, in 2011, human rights blogger Zakariyah Ashiri was arbitrarily arrested and beaten to death in the custody of Bahraini authorities. All five policemen involved in his death have been acquitted, and authorities have vehemently denied accusations, despite images of his extensive bodily injuries validating these allegations.
Similarly, the co-founder of Bahraini newspaper Al-Wasat, also appeared dead in 2011 after 9 days of disappearance under the custody of Bahraini authorities. The injuries on his body were equally consistent with allegations that he was tortured to death.
Finally, it is also a grave concern that a growing number of individuals have been delivered execution sentences in Bahrain. It is even more worrying that many of these individuals have been convicted through arbitrary trials based on coerced confessions that are extracted by torture; with two death sentences of this nature having been issued as recently as March of this year.
We therefore ask Special Rapporteur Heynes to comment on how the Council can effectively respond to cases that warrant immediate attention, but also to cases that represent past occurrences.