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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=Rights record hailed!. Sorry for the trouble.

Rights record hailed!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Regarding the session of the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that I mentioned before (1, 2), the GDN reports today:

Rights record hailed

The UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) hailed Bahrain's remarkable human rights success yesterday since the reform project of His Majesty King was launched - particularly the support of equality and elimination of racial discrimination. UNCERD lauded all data, information and statistics in respect of the international conventions and mechanisms of applying them. This came in a Press release on the participation of the Bahraini delegation headed by Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi to discuss the kingdom's sixth and seventh periodical reports in Geneva.

Although Bahrain did receive praise from the UNCERD, the GDN (i.e. Ministry of Information) forgets to report this from the mentioned Press release:

Despite the progress made by the Government of Bahrain, the country Rapporteur said it had much work to do to fully satisfy the implementation of the Convention, including reporting on cases of racial discrimination and providing concrete and detailed examples of any such cases. Mr. Boyd underscored the need for the State party to provide disaggregated data in its next periodic report. This, he said, would help clarify the nature of discrimination acts.

The biggest problem regarding racial discrimination in Bahrain is the continued refusal of the government to admit that just maybe it exists at some level. Instead we are told that it's all just a myth. The UNCERD Press release reports:

In closing, the head of the delegation of Bahrain [Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi] reaffirmed that all people were equal in human dignity and there was no discrimination on grounds of sex, origin, religion or belief. The Kingdom had taken several steps to disseminate and promote the principles of the Convention, as well as human rights principles in general. In short, since its independence in 1971, Bahrain has been pronouncing its rejection of racial discrimination in all of its forms.

It's embarassing that our government representatives can go around making such disingenious statements while the Ministries of Defence and Interior continue to discriminate openly as a matter of policy.

And I like this statement (slightly off topic, I know):

Concerning a question on the disbandment of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, the delegation said that the Bahraini authorities had called for the disbandment of this national organization following its threat to public order, and more specifically its threat to the Prime Minister.

Anyways, read the entire Press release and have a laugh.

And on a related note, read this post by Bahraini Rants.

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