The Permanent Mission of Geneva presented a statement, on Wednesday, 20 September 2017, in the interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Advisory Committee, under agenda item 5 of the Human Rights Council, during which the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour, presented his annual report, under its right to reply to Mr. Gilmore’s report.
The delegation of the Kingdom expressed its regret for the inaccurate information contained in the Assistant Secretary-General’s report. The conclusions and observations of the report were not based on facts and objective foundations. On more than one occasion, the Kingdom of Bahrain has affirmed its full respect for the rules of civil society participation in the work of the United Nations and in particular the Human Rights Council. It is against human rights activists being persecuted or subjected to any form of threat, retaliation or arbitrary arrests. Free expression and opinion are safeguarded by the Constitution, national laws and international standards, and the Kingdom of Bahrain has provided a wide and unprecedented space among the region to exercise all these rights.
It also affirmed the independent protection mechanisms established by the Kingdom of Bahrain for all prisoners and detainees, as well as the conditions for investigation and fair trial through the appointment of a lawyer and the provision of legal assistance to all of them to file any complaint concerning allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment to the relevant and impartial authorities in full.
In this context, the delegation reminded the Assistant Secretary-General that he is in direct and close contact with the Human Rights Council bureau on a number of individual cases raised in the previous period, including those contained in this report. The Kingdom of Bahrain provided extensive and comprehensive replies on the conditions of these detainees or prisoners and has expressed its willingness to provide additional clarifications on a case-by-case basis. The Delegation therefore urged the importance of referencing these sources, documents and information which it had provided to the organs of the United Nations, before jumping to conclusions and inaccuracies.
In conclusion, the head of the delegation expressed the Kingdom’s commitment to transparency and its keenness to cooperate fully with all United Nations bodies, international human rights mechanisms, mandate holders and special rapporteurs and to continue to promote and protect fundamental human rights freedoms.