On 3 May 2021, Mary Lawlor who is the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Elina Streinerte who is the vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Tlaleng Mokofeng who is the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and Nils Melzer who is the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment sent a joint communication to the Government of Bahrain on the alleged arbitrary detention and sentencing of five human rights defenders on sentences carrying 10 years or more in connection to their defence of human rights.
In the communication they expressed concern at an apparent pattern of restrictions on space dissent and debate in Bahrain, where critical or dissenting opinions are characterised as terrorism. “There appears to be a systematic stifling of dissent and targeting of those who exercise and promote the right to freedom of expression in the country. What’s more we conveyed our utmost concern the allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment faced by Mr. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, Mr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, and Mr. Naji Ali Fateel” they stated.
Read here the full version of the original communication.