A series of leaked documents show that Bahrain is attempting to join the advisory committee of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The Kingdom is seeking the support of a number of NGO’s and member states to support their candidate, Mr. Saeed Mohammed Al Faiani who is a former ambassador and has worked with the UN on behalf of Bahrain for a number of years.
The leaked documents, obtained by the Islamic Human Rights Commission and shown to BJDM, had been circulated to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation via Pakistan who coordinates the organisation.
The Advisory Committee is described as a ‘think tank’ to the Human Rights Council and has 18 members. It’s aim is to provide “the best possible expertise” to the Council and make proposals.
The move comes in the wake of the recent Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council where Bahrain came under close scrutiny for it’s human rights record. Many will believe that this candidacy is an attempt to avoid future embarrassment on a similar scale to what they faced in Geneva in May.
Raza Kazim from the Islamic Human Rights Commission told The Guardian, “We will be launching a campaign to ensure that Bahrain is not allowed on the UN human rights advisory committee. To allow them a seat is to undermine the very notion of human rights.”
It is not yet known how much support Bahrain is likely to receive for their candidacy, but elections to the committee are due to take place in September and it is possible they will try to get elected then.