UN rights team to visit Bahrain next week over crackdown

DUBAI - UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay is sending a team of experts to Bahrain next week to discuss how the Gulf state can improve its rights record amid concerns over Manama's decision to revoke the nationality of 31 people and ban public protests.
Bahrain's government invited the four experts to assess the kingdom's need to improve its track record on the issue, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement late on Friday.
They will focus on the judicial system as well as on accountability for present and past human rights violations and follow up on a preliminary mission that took place last December, it said.
A staunch US ally, Bahrain has come under increasing Western pressure to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) for police, judicial and education reform after last year's government crackdown on pro-democracy protests by majority Shi'ite Muslims.
US officials last week voiced concern that Bahrain's failure to implement key reforms suggested by the BICI report was making political dialogue more difficult and widening divisions in society in a way that might benefit Iran.
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