New York

16 June 2016

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Bahrain

The Secretary-General is concerned by recent actions of the Bahraini authorities seemingly aimed at restricting the country’s political opposition. These include the dissolution of Al Wefaq, the largest opposition political grouping; the re-arrest of human rights defender Nabil Rajab, founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights; and the lengthening of the sentence of Sheikh Ali Salman, of Al Wefaq.

The Secretary-General is also dismayed about reports that suggest that human rights defenders and activists in Bahrain have been intimidated and even stripped of their citizenship for peacefully carrying out activities to promote human rights, as well as for legitimately exercising their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association.

The Secretary-General is concerned that the current actions against the opposition may undermine the reforms undertaken by His Majesty King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa and lessen the prospect of an inclusive national dialogue in the interest of all people of the Kingdom.

The Secretary-General is convinced that the effective implementation of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, the Universal Periodic Review and the national human rights institution would allow for an improvement of the human rights situation in the country and go a long way towards addressing the concerns and grievances of its citizens.