The United Nations human rights office today expressed deep regret over a Bahraini court decision to dissolve Al Wefaq, the country's largest opposition group, and urged the country's authorities to review the latest and other bans on organizations that were peacefully exercising their rights.
“In spite of strong calls from the international community for Bahrain to seek to de-escalate the worrying tensions in the country, we regret the decision to press ahead with the ban,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), told reporters in Geneva.
Reports suggest that the court hearing was carried out without due regard for the principles of fair trial, and the ban is the latest in a series of measures over the last few months that appear to be designed to quash dissents, she explained.
“We urge the authorities, and the national human rights institutions in place in Bahrain, to take immediate confidence-building measures to ensure the rights to freedom of peaceful expression, assembly and association are respected,” Ms. Shamdasani said.
The call comes one day after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the dissolution of Al Wefaq “the latest in a series of restrictions” on human rights in the country.
He urged a resumption of an all-inclusive national dialogue aimed at peace and stability in the country, and the region.