WASHINGTON — Twenty US lawmakers urged the king of Bahrain on Monday to immediately allow the UN envoy on torture to enter the kingdom, after the government postponed his trip at the last minute.
The Gulf state had advised United Nations Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez on April 22, after renewed clashes between security forces and pro-democracy activists, that they were halting his trip, essentially a second cancellation after a previous planned visit was also scrapped.
"As you know, serious accusations have been made in recent years against members of the Bahraini security forces, who are accused of torturing detainees with impunity," the 20 Democrats, including current longest-serving Senator Patrick Leahy, wrote in their letter to King Hamad.
The government's "refusal to allow Juan Mendez to visit the country is also inconsistent with recommendations made by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, including torture allegations be independently investigated, which your government agreed to implement," they added. ...