U.N. rights chief worried by Bahrain

Sept. 9, 2013 at 9:31 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- The government's crackdown on opposition voices in Bahrain remains an enduring source of frustration, the U.N. human rights chief said.

Dozens of protesters died during an uprising against the Sunni-led monarchy in Bahrain in 2011. The government said it's working on reforms spelled out by an independent commission probing its response to the unrest.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the Human Rights Council she was frustrated with reports of widespread human rights violations in Bahrain.

"I regret to report that the human rights situation in Bahrain remains an issue of serious concern," she said Monday. "The deep polarization of society and the harsh clampdown on human rights defenders and peaceful protesters continue to make a durable solution more difficult to secure."

The government placed restrictions on demonstrations. It is also accused of abusing human rights leaders it has in custody. Last week, the British government issued a travel advisory for Bahrain, saying it was worried ongoing protests could turn violent.

"I reiterate my call on Bahrain to fully comply with its international human rights commitments, including respect for the rights to freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association," Pillay said.

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