UN to visit Bahrain seeking progress on accountability

A United Nations team will travel to Bahrain in the next few weeks, to discuss the judicial system and accountability, it was announced today.

In a statement, the UN said they will be seeking clarity on the implementation process of both the Universal Periodic Review and Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, during meetings with a number of ministries including education, health, foreign and labour, as well as the human rights institution and civil society.

Judicial issues as well as accountability for officials formed a major part of the BICI as well as the recommendations of the UPR.

During the announcement, Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed “deep concern” about the current situation in Bahrain with regards to human rights.

Referring to the revoking of citizenships of 31 opposition figures she was quoted as saying she regrets the decision and calls for it to be overturned. A spokesman said, ““She urges the Government to reconsider this decision, which stands in clear violation of article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that, ‘everyone has the right to a nationality’ and ‘no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.’”

In addition she called for an overturn on the ban on protests, saying “Bahrain should fully comply with its international human rights commitments, including respect for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association.”

The statement also expressed concern about the decision to sentence 23 medical professionals, reiterating the need for Bahrain to release all prisoners sentenced in violation of values of freedom of expression and assembly.

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