Friday's statement by the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Laura Dupuy Lasserre
1306 GMT: Claimed footage of police mobilising and using tear gas in Alma'ameer on Friday night, after a march of youth through the village:
Recently I was informed....about a media campaign which is taking place in your country, identifying and threatening representatives of civil society who came to Geneva to participate in this review.
Given these press reports I would like to express my concern at those incidents, reminding you that intimidation is inconsistent with the spirit of democratic participation, which inspires this universal periodic review and this mechanism in the council.
For this reason I simply wish to remind you that we are all duty bound to ensure that nobody is persecuted on his return to his country for having participated in meetings of the human rights council or other bodies.
In this connection we hope the government, as you yourself have mentioned Mr. Minister will genuinely involve all civil society interested in the implementation of the recommendations of this second review.
I am making this appeal on the basis of a decision of this council which is quite clear in paragraph 30 in establishing the fact that the council energetically rejects any attempt at intimidation or reprisals against persons or groups cooperating or having cooperated with the United Nations, their representatives and their human rights mechanisms.
The President went further by naming the activists who might face retaliation by the regime:
I express full confidence in the senior delegation with us today because I know that it will offer all guarantees to those persons identified in the press.
Quite simply I would like to mention them so you can carry out [the] follow-up: Dr. Nada Dhaif, Mrs. Maryam AlKhawaja, Mrs. Lamees Dhaif, Mr. Mohamed Al Tajer, Mr. Abdulnabi Alekri, Mr. Sayed Hadi Al Musawi, Mr. Hassan Marzooq, Mrs. Jalila Al Salman, Mr. Isa Alghayeb, Mrs. Alaa Shehabi, Dr. Taha Alderazi and Mr. Faisal Hayat.
0948 GMT: Amidst this week's criticism by the United Nations (see 0940 GMT), the regime might seek solace in an interview of the Bahraini Ambassador to the UN, Huda Nonoo, by The Washington Post.
However, the outcome may not be to the liking of the monarchy. The headline is sympathetic, "Bahrain Protests Have Complicated Job for Houda Nonoo, First Jewish Ambassador from an Arab Nation". However, EA's John Horne, in a separate analysis, has noted the contradiction between Nonoo's projection of Bahrain's record on religious minority and the regime's discrimination against the Shia religious majority. And the article in the Post, beyond the headline, is far from accommodating. It opens:
After months of requests, Nonoo, 47, had finally consented to a one-on-one interview, the only one she granted to The Post during the writing of this article. Conditions: The interview could last only 30 minutes; a representative from Qorvis, a Washington lobbying and public relations firm, had to be in the room; and questions about her husband and two sons would not be allowed. The clock started ticking.
The Ambassador is soon portrayed as a weary spokesperson with a difficult task: "[Events have] thrown Nonoo into nonstop defense mode, and she readily talked about the rejection she had experienced. “I have to explain to friends what Bahrain is. It’s hard that your friends think the opposite, and the media has not helped us at all."
0940 GMT: The opposition society Al Wefaq highlights this week's Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council of the Bahraini regime's position on human rights, with more than 170 recommendations for action to deal with violations and abuses.
Al Wefaq has highlighted calls to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry by September; immediate release of all political prisoners; accountability for those involved in torture and violations; despatch of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Bahrain; rebuilding of mosques demolished by authorities; and freedom of expression and freedom of media, including for the opposition.