High Commissioner Ms. Navi Pillay meets with BHRO delegation

Ms. Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, met this week in Geneva with a delegation from the Bahrain Human Rights Observatory. The meeting follows a recent visit of a technical team from her office to Bahrain in May, discussing follow-up to the visit and the expectations from the OHCHR of the Bahrain Government.

Delegates from the BHRO informed of the current situation of human rights in Bahrain with the High Commissioner, including human rights lawyer Mohamed Altajer, Sayed Hadi Almusawi, Head of Al Wefaq Human Rights Department, Fareeda Ghulam, wife of political prisoner Ebrahim Shariff, Sheikh Maytham Alsalman, Head of religious freedom at BHRO and Abdulnabi Alekry from BHRO.

They all took the opportunity to thank the High Commissioner for her support to the people of Bahrain during her time in office. Sheikh Maytham Alsalman told the High Commissioner that she is well known on the streets of Bahrain, due to her supportive efforts and comments. He added that Bahrain is “facing a deep issue of sectarian discrimination that is instigating most of the human rights abuses.”

Fareeda Ghulam presented the High Commissioner with a dossier about the case of her husband, Ebrahim Shariff, and discussed recent new forms of oppression that Bahrainis are facing, particularly through the purging of opposition members in the public sector.

Reiterating his gratitude to Ms. Pillay, Sayed Hadi Almusawi said they feel safer when the OHCHR team is in Bahrain and urged for a permanent office with a full mandate, echoing the sentiments of the 47 member states during the opening session of the council last week. Abdulnabi Alekry expressed his hope that, with Ms. Pillay ending her term as High Commissioner soon, her successor will be equally as supportive of the people of Bahrain.

Speaking after the meeting Mohamed Altajer said, “We are very happy for this important and symbolic meeting.” Adding, “it was essential to hear that the High Commissioner had been following everything on Bahrain for the past 6 years and we are very grateful for all of her hard work.”


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