The International Center for Supporting Rights denounced the reality of arbitrary reprisals in Bahrain targeting political and human rights associations active in the country.
The Center stated that Bahrain had reached a stage where anyone who does not whitewash the authorities’ violations of human rights is an enemy who deserves revenge.
Paragraph 1 of Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that (everyone has the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions to protect his interests).
Although the government of Bahrain ratified the covenant in 2006, the Bahraini authorities, represented by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, have violated the international covenant.
The ministry sent a letter to the Bahrain Human Rights Society on January 30, 2022, in which it rejected the current chairman of the society’s board of directors, Abdul Jalil Yousef, lawyer Issa Ibrahim and Mohsen Matar as candidates in the general assembly elections for the year 2022 and 2023.
The Bahraini authorities justified the decision because they were in the past members of the National Democratic Action Society (Wa’ad), which was dissolved on May 31, 2017.
The International Center for the Promotion of Rights stressed that it is not possible in any way for state authorities to interfere with the candidates of any association as long as it does not work on religious or political agendas.
It pointed out that the Bahrain Society for Human Rights is a non-governmental organization (NGO), and it is the first Bahraini society working in the field of human rights that was established in 2001.
The Bahrain Human Rights Society is an NGO established by Bahrain and appointed its members so that the authorities intervene in its formation. It has complete freedom to choose its members independently according to what serves its goals and facilitates its human rights activities.
The Center considered that the real, unstated reason behind this decision is that the society does not whitewash Bahrain’s human rights record and does not stand with the Bahraini authorities in covering up, deceiving, lying, and silence about prison conditions, health conditions of prisoners, arrests of children and torture in security headquarters.
The Human Rights Center confirmed that the Bahraini authorities took retaliatory action against the Bahrain Society for Human Rights for the aforementioned reason.
The Center called on the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to withdraw the decision to reject the nomination of members of the Bahrain Human Rights Society and not interfere in the formation and work of human rights groups in the country.