On May 25th, the President of the Human Rights Council (the Council), H.E. Ambassador Laura Dupuy Lasserre, made a statement during the adoption of the Working Group report of Bahrain to ask the delegation to protect upon their return Bahraini human rights defenders threatened in the press for participating in the UPR process.
14 human rights defenders have come to Geneva to take part in the UPR of Bahrain held on 21st May. In the following days, they were targeted in the press in Bahrain for their work in Geneva. The HRC President stated that the Council, as detailed in §30 of HRC resolution 16/21, rejected acts of intimidation against those cooperating with the HRC. She called on the State of Bahrain to ensure that those defenders will not face reprisals when going back to Bahrain and named each of the 14 defenders.
The HRC President's statement brought strong protestations from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Belarus and Kuwait which were of the view that it was not her role to make such statement.
In the past, HRC Presidents have already denounced reprisals against human rights defenders cooperating with the HRC.
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