Bahrain urged: Take human rights seriously

Sept. 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Bahrain has a history of "hollow" promises to mend its ways on human rights, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

The group said Bahrain accepted 140 out of 176 recommendations in the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review, which was released Wednesday. The review is carried out every four years by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The recommendations included an investigation of allegations that detainees during last year's massive protests were tortured and mistreated, freeing people held for political offenses and providing guarantees of fair trials.

"We've already seen Bahrain pledge human rights reform on the world stage -- after the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, made up of international experts, published its findings last year -- but the sad reality is that such pledges remain hollow without real action to back them up," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program director. "Unless Bahrain's government now puts into practice the UPR's recommendations at the national level, this will have been just a hollow box-ticking exercise."

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