Human Rights Watch has voiced its deep concerns over the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)'s failure to address the situation in Bahrain.
“The situation in Bahrain deteriorated further in the latter half of 2016. The government has intensified its attacks on rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association,” said a report released by the rights group on Wednesday.
It stressed that the Al Khalifah regime has been emboldened by the international community’s silence on Manama's human rights violations, and called on the UNHRC to take immediate measures against the worsening situation in the country.
The group also called for attention to Manama’s dissolution of the main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, and its arbitrary stripping of citizenship of those critical of the government.
“Authorities also made little progress in holding officials accountable for the mistreatment and torture of detainees,” it said, adding that Manama had even approved trial of civilians at military tribunals.
A file picture taken on November 2, 2014, shows Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab looking on at his home in the village of Bani Jamrah, west of Manama, upon his release on bail.
HRW also called the council’s attention to the postponed trial of human rights lawyer Nabeel Rajab, who remains incarcerated and faces charges that violate his right to free speech.
Anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom on February 14, 2011.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the Manama government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or been arrested.