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Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:32AM
A Bahraini policeman fires tear gas during an anti-regime demonstration in a village near Manama. (File photo)

A Bahraini policeman fires tear gas during an anti-regime demonstration in a village near Manama. (File photo)

Unless Bahrain’s government now puts into practice the UPR’s (Universal Periodic Review) recommendations at the national level, this will have been just a hollow box-ticking exercise.” Amnesty International
Amnesty International says the Bahraini regime’s pledges to respect human rights are “hollow without real action.” The reaction came after Manama said it would implement 158 of 176 recommendations of a new report released by United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on the country’s deteriorating human rights situation. In the recommendations, the UN asked Manama to investigate crimes committed by security forces during ant-regime protests and to guarantee fair trials for all arrested during demonstrations. “We’ve already seen Bahrain pledge human rights reform on the world stage -- after the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, made up of international experts, published its findings last year -- but the sad reality is that such pledges remain hollow without real action to back them up,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa program director. “Unless Bahrain’s government now puts into practice the UPR’s recommendations at the national level, this will have been just a hollow box-ticking exercise.” The human rights situation in Bahrain has been the subject of the review by the UN Human Rights Council. Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa told the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday that the Manama regime would accept the bulk of the recommendations, including calls for fair trials and improved religious protections. Bahraini protesters have been staging anti-regime demonstrations since February 2011, and they hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the deaths of demonstrators during the uprising. The demonstrators say they will continue holding street protests until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met. Meanwhile, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has stated that the Manama regime has failed to make good on a promise to implement political reforms in the country. FIDH has also urged the Bahraini authorities to release all political prisoners and to “support the establishment of an international monitoring mechanism… to monitor the implementation of the recommendations” made by the independent commission. DB/HSN/MA
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