WhatsApp Logo Subscribe
For News Alert

News

Bahrain cancels HRW visas ahead of parliamentary meet: rights group

March 10, 2023 08:41 PM


Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

Bahrain has revoked visas for two members of Human Rights Watch who planned to attend this week's Inter-Parliamentary Union assembly in the Gulf state, the activist group said on Friday.

Visas that were issued for two members of the rights group on January 30 were cancelled on March 8, three days before the assembly for the 178-member IPU starts on Saturday, HRW said.

The IPU, which groups parliaments around the world and aims to promote democracy and human rights, said it was "aware" the visas were revoked but said it "is not responsible for the visa process which is a sovereign decision of the host country".

Bahraini authorities did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

HRW, which holds permanent observer status with the IPU, said the body should respond by urging Bahrain to "release all those imprisoned solely for peaceful speech" and rescind laws barring political opponents from contesting elections.

Authorities launched a crackdown after an Arab Spring-inspired movement of largely Shiite protesters hit the streets in 2011 to demand an elected government for the tiny Gulf kingdom of some 1.4 million people.

Hundreds of demonstrators have since been jailed and opposition parties outlawed. The government claims Iran gave the demonstrators training and support in a bid to topple it -- an accusation Tehran denies.

Tirana Hassan, HRW's acting executive director, called the visa cancellations "a blatant example of (Bahrain's) escalating repression".

"Bahrain's hosting of sporting and high-level international events is a transparent attempt to launder its decades-long campaign to crush political opposition and suffocate the country's vibrant civil society," Hassan said in a statement.

Bahrain also came under fire for its human rights record during last week's season-opening Formula One Grand Prix, when 21 rights groups raised concerns over "sportswashing", highlighting the imprisonment of political leaders.

In parliamentary elections in November, Bahrain's two main opposition groups, the Shiite Al-Wefaq and the secular Waad, were prevented from presenting candidates. These parties were dissolved in 2016 and 2017 respectively.



Most Read

  1. Hania Aamir and Zaviyar Nauman's Nikkah glam gives ‘heart attack’ to many Hania Aamir and Zaviyar Nauman's Nikkah glam gives ‘heart attack’ to many
  2. Ex-CJP Saqib Nisar uses influence for grandson at Aitchison College Ex-CJP Saqib Nisar uses influence for grandson at Aitchison College
  3. All eyes on Sajal Aly and Hamza Ali Abbasi's exciting comeback on screen All eyes on Sajal Aly and Hamza Ali Abbasi's exciting comeback on screen
  4. Bajwa-Khan bond 2.0: After Urvashi Rautela, Sonam Bajwa becomes Naseem Shah’s fan Bajwa-Khan bond 2.0: After Urvashi Rautela, Sonam Bajwa becomes Naseem Shah’s fan
  5. K-pop Aoora wins masses through jumping on Bado Badi bandwagon K-pop Aoora wins masses through jumping on Bado Badi bandwagon
  6. Nora Fatehi celebrates her Moroccan identity with new song ‘Nora’ Nora Fatehi celebrates her Moroccan identity with new song ‘Nora’

Opinion

  1. An Unmissable Opportunity: The Time for Modi and Islamabad leadership to Resume Bilateral Dialogue is Now!
    An Unmissable Opportunity: The Time for Modi and Islamabad leadership to Resume Bilateral Dialogue is Now!

    By Sudheendra Kulkarni

  2. Premier Shehbaz and Chinese model
    Premier Shehbaz and Chinese model

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  3. Modi's myth broken, yet in power
    Modi's myth broken, yet in power

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  4. Xi, Shehbaz and CPEC phase - 2
    Xi, Shehbaz and CPEC phase - 2

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  5. Pakistan's UNSC Triumph: A New Era
    Pakistan's UNSC Triumph: A New Era

    By Dr Asif Channer

  6. Shehbaz, Deng, Xi and transformation
    Shehbaz, Deng, Xi and transformation

    By Naveed Aman Khan