Bahrain will no longer run in an election to the U.N.’s top human rights body later this month, a U.N. website showed, after critics drew attention to alleged human rights violations.
A U.N. site showed that Bahrain withdrew its candidacy on Sept. 26 to run for a three-year seat at the Geneva-based body, without giving details.
A Bahrain government spokesperson told Reuters in a statement that the deferral of the Gulf Arab state’s candidacy “results from ongoing consultation with its geographical group”, describing that as a standard practice.
Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has imprisoned thousands of protesters, journalists and activists – some in mass trials – since an anti-government uprising in 2011. It says it prosecutes in accordance with international law those who commit crimes, and rejects criticism from the United Nations and others over the conduct of trials and detention conditions..
A memo circulated among council members by the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) drew attention to allegations of arbitrary detention as well as reprisals against individuals, as cited in a U.N. report last month.