» News

22 HR NGOs to IPU: Don't Allow Bahrain to Use You to Whitewash Its Dismal Rights Record

2023-03-07 - 12:23 p

Bahrain Mirror: 22 human rights organizations sent a letter to representatives of the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly scheduled to take place in Bahrain from March 11 to March 15, 2023, urging them to publicly raise concerns regarding the dire state of political freedom in Bahrain, including the ongoing detention of two former members of Bahrain's parliament.

The organizations said in their letter "The government of Bahrain imposes restrictions on expression, association, and assembly that violate Bahrain's international human rights obligations. Elections are neither free nor fair, and opposition voices are systematically excluded and repressed."

The letter demanded the countries participating in the meetings to "take the opportunity of the Assembly, which is meeting in a country where activists are banned from organizing, to publicly raise human rights concerns with Bahraini officials." 

It also requested that they meet with and call for the release of jailed opposition activists, who have never been charged with an internationally recognizable crime. The letter urged the parliamentarians to ensure that the IPU's 146th Assembly will not be used by the Bahraini authorities to whitewash its dismal rights record.

It reminded the representatives of the Bahraini regime's repression of political opposition and civil society, its detention and torture of prisoners of conscience, and the revocation of Bahrainis' citizenship. 

The letter urged visiting members of parliament attending the IPU to call on the Bahraini authorities to "Unconditionally and immediately release all those imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association; Implement longstanding UN treaty body recommendations and rescind Bahrain's "political isolation law," and encourage the development of civic space in Bahrain; Ensure the respect for, and protection of, the right to freedom of expression, and take necessary steps to ensure media freedom; End the use of torture and other ill-treatment and tackle the culture of impunity; Implement an immediate moratorium on the use of the death, pending a full review of all capital cases to identify allegations of torture and quash all death sentences which rely on torture evidence; Establish an independent and impartial commission of inquiry, which has no association or hierarchical relationship with the Public Prosecutor's Office or Ministry of Interior and separate from Ombudsman and SIU, to investigate allegations of torture in Bahrain; and Reinstate citizenship to all those arbitrarily stripped of their citizenship, in line with UN recommendations.


1.       Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain

2.       Bahrain Center for Human Rights

3.       Bahrain Forum for Human Rights

4.       Bahrain Human Rights Society

5.       Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy

6.       Democracy for the Arab World Now

7.       European Center for Democracy and Human Rights

8.       Front Line Defenders

9.       Gulf Centre for Human Rights

10.   Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights

11.   Human Rights First

12.   Human Rights Watch

13.   International Federation for Human Rights

14.   MENA Rights Group

15.   PEN International

16.   PEN America

17.   Project on Middle East Democracy

18.   Rights Realisation Centre

19.   Reprieve

20.   SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights

21.   Scholars at Risk

22.   The #FreeAlKhawaja campaign

Arabic Version