20 Members of the US Congress Urge Bahrain to finally accept visit by to U.N. Special Rapporteur

June 11, 2013

Twenty Members of Congress are urging Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa to reconsider his decision to postpone indefinitely the visit of  United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Méndez, who has twice been denied access to the Kingdom since protests there began in February 2011.   In a letter sent June 10, they called on him to “demonstrate your commitment to help put an end” to abusive practices, including torture: “As you know, serious accusations have been made in recent years against members of the Bahraini security forces, who are accused of torturing detainees with impunity,” … Bahrain’s cancellation of Mendez’s trip presents a serious roadblock in his ability to carry out this mandate. In their letter, the Members of Congress also noted, “The use of torture contradicts your government’s commitment during the 2012 Universal Periodic Review to bring its domestic law in line with the definition of torture under its international obligations. The Government of Bahrain’s refusal to allow Juan Mendez to visit the country is also inconsistent with recommendations made by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry BICI, including torture allegations be independently investigated, which your government agreed to implement.HRF logo

Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley, who has also been refused entry into Bahrain, observed, “Members of Congress are right to speak out against Bahrain’s refusal to admit Mendez to the Kingdom. If the government of Bahrain has nothing to hide, it should have no qualms about complying with this request from U.S. Members of Congress and it should immediately allow Mendez access to the country. It should also permit other outside observers to enter Bahrain, including Human Rights First.

via Congressional Members Urge Bahraini King to Open Kingdom to U.N.’s Mendez, Outside Observers | Human Rights First.

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