UAE summons Swiss ambassador over UN Bahrain statement

By REUTERS
March 20, 2017 01:33




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RIYADH/GENEVA - The United Arab Emirates summoned the Swiss ambassador on Sunday to denounce a statement Switzerland made to the United Nations Human Rights Council the week prior criticizing fellow Gulf state Bahrain's human rights record.

The UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Swiss ambassador "it was better if such issues were resolved through established bilateral channels between Bahrain and Switzerland," according to a statement posted on state news agency WAM.

The foreign ministry also accused Switzerland of failing to acknowledge the steps Bahrain had taken to improve its human rights record, it said.

Switzerland's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Valentin Zellweger last week called on Bahrain to cooperate with the Human Rights Council's procedures, expressing alarm over the tiny Gulf kingdom's "repression of civil society".

"The use of torture, inadequate fair trial guarantees and excessive use of force during peaceful demonstrations, as well as reprisals against victims of human rights violations or those who cooperate with the United Nations, are of concern," he said.

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