The delegation of the Kingdom of Bahrain, under the chairmanship of the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Dr. Yousef Abdul Karim Bucheri, mediated on Tuesday, 19 June, 2018 in the general debate with the annual report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the opening statement and the oral update under item (2) of the agenda of the 38th session of the Human Rights Council held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, from 18 June to 6 July 2018, in order to refute the baseless references about the Kingdom of Bahrain made in the Commissioner’s statement.
In the national statement, the Permanent Representative expressed his deep concern at the baseless and repeated allegations of human rights in the Kingdom of Bahrain which do not reflect the reality and are not based on any independent, objective or neutral sources. These allegations are deliberately and blatantly prejudicial to hostile and malicious entities that work to harm the reputation of the Kingdom and to mislead from its great achievements in the promotion and protection of human rights and to take these strange signals into a selective, provocative, unfocused and unjust approach that does not fit in and serves a non-constructive agenda, hence, our total refusal of the mentioning of my country in this statement and the wrong contents and descriptions that can not be accepted.
Dr. Bucheri stressed that the Kingdom of Bahrain works in full responsibility to promote human rights in all fields, achieving the successes and excellence witnessed by many countries and international organizations, therefore, it will not allow any party to prejudice or undermine its advanced national record or its sincere efforts towards continuing to promote sustainable development paths and protecting fundamental freedoms.
The Ambassador said that what is really strange and offensive is the degree of impartiality of the Commission towards issues and disregard of others, the excessive focus and taking any opportunity when speaking of serious violations of human rights in the world to mention the Kingdom of Bahrain in a strange selectivity and a paradox that is contrary to reality. This behavior really causes us to worry and stand to know its objectives which are harmful to the reputation and work of the Commission.
In response to the statement made by the High Commissioner on the freedom of civil society and respect for human rights, the Representative of the Kingdom affirmed that there was no limits to the work of civil society organizations and that activists and members of Bahraini community organizations are partners in the work of rights and exercise their activities freely and transparently. Bahrain is proud of the civil society and its rich contributions over many decades, it is one of the pillars of national action and a genuine partner in building the Bahraini renaissance. The records and numbers of civil societies and their activities in all fields reflect this clear reality.
Ambassador Bucheri stated that the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain established the principle of freedom of opinion and expression in Article 23, and that all national legislation places respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as a central pillar in line with relevant international standards and takes into account national interests and security and stability. In this context, the Ambassador affirmed the Kingdom’s keenness to continue its work and its open approach to the protection of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
With regard to the alleged closure of access to both the Office of the High Commissioner and the Office of Special Procedures to visit Bahrain, the Permanent Representative affirmed that the description is inaccurate and ambiguous, stressing Bahrain’s keenness to strengthen the relationship of cooperation and coordination with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, through the use of training and technical capabilities and capacity building to promote the human rights work in Bahrain. Bahrain is also continuing to cooperate with human rights mechanisms and relevant international instruments in accordance with the possibilities and circumstances available.
The Ambassador affirmed the Kingdom’s cooperation with Human Rights mechanisms, relevant international standards and the presentation of its national reports, reiterating Bahrain’s sincere call to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to increase efforts to understand the reality of human rights and the challenges faced by the Kingdom, and sign terms of reference without preconditions or obstacles, and to investigate information more accurately and independently and to draw it from neutral, objective and non-politicized sources.
In conclusion, the Ambassador stressed Bahrain’s commitment to continue the process of ensuring respect for rights and freedoms within the framework of the Constitution of the Kingdom, its national legislations and its international obligations under the human rights conventions which it has acceded to and ratified, and cooperation with the United Nations, the Human Rights Council, the High Commission, in order to safeguard and protect human rights at all levels.
-Bahrain News Agency