UN Rights experts call on Bahrain to release jailed activists

UN Rights experts call on Bahrain to release jailed activists

A U.N. panel composed of 18 independent experts called on Manama to release detained activists and end restrictions on freedom of expression.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): A U.N. panel composed of 18 independent experts called on Manama to release detained activists and end restrictions on freedom of expression.

The panel tasked with upholding compliance with a landmark treaty on civil and political rights examined Bahrain’s record and concluded that the kingdom has witnessed a spike in repression over the last year.

During Thursday’s briefing, one of the experts, Olivier de Frouville, noted that “since last year there is a new regression, a fresh assault against freedom of expression, against civil society that is critical, and a marginalization of political opposition parties.”

The experts also warned that Manama is using its anti-terrorism legislation “outside the scope of terrorism, including against human rights defenders and political activists”.

Moreover, the panel expressed concern at an increase use of violence by security forces at peaceful demonstrations.

“We called on (Bahrain) to change its laws, to stop reprisals, also to release immediately and unconditionally anyone held solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights,” de Frouville said, adding that they included prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab.

Voicing concern at reports of arbitrary arrests by security forces, including incommunicado detention, it named Khalil al-Marzouq, a former member of parliament for the opposition group al-Wefaq, and Maryam al-Khawaja, a prominent activist.


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