A Letter of Courage to High Commissioner Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad
2018-09-15 - 11:13 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): We deeply thank you for putting Bahrain and its activists on the map of brave leaders of communities and social movements on the international level. You have mentioned the name of Nabeel Rajab; he is currently behind bars. Your words made Bahrainis trust that there is someone who listens to their voice and stands in solidarity with them. We are very grateful for you, because we have been forgotten. Rarely does someone speak about us bravely as being among social movements seeking freedom and democracy.
Allow us to speak frankly to you as you leave an international position that was honored by you more than you by it, since you believe that the person is the one who gives a position its value, or else it would be an occupied rank with no value. We, honestly, were afraid that this high ranking position would not see a courageous leadership during your time. We had doubts that a person, from the Arab political world who belongs to a royal family, would show the courage you talked about in your farewell speech a few days ago. You impressed us with the courage you practiced throughout the four years of your great efforts.
When you didn't talk about Bahrain in your first speech in the opening of the 27th session of the Human Rights Council, our concern prompted us to send you a tough response at that time, in a letter in which we wrote: "Your speech will remain in the memory of the council as: the first Arab and Muslim figure who assumed the post of the high commissioner for human rights and who opened his first speech by ignoring the intentional violations of human rights in an Arab and Muslim country called Bahrain."
We owe you an apology, because we didn't trust you based on your first appearance, and we were quick to prejudge you since we are used to Arab betrayals. We believe that it is time for us to sincerely apologize, for we admire you and are grateful for all your brave stances. You were bold in your leadership as well as in your farewell speech. You were inspiring when you said "courage is self-sacrificing, non-violent, modest and based on universal principles-and immensely powerful."
How strong you were when you challenged the heads of world powers and their allies, also mentioning them by their names: "The Trumps, the Orbans and the Salvinis" describing them as "authoritarian leaders, or elected leaders inclined toward it, bullies, deceivers, and selfish cowards".
You have unveiled your courage while you were in this position, and faced with power those in leadership positions, and they are below the required level- as you said- whom you have described as: focusing on their image, the Protocol's triviality and re-election, adding that they are also narcissistic or frightened.
The United States of America withdrew under the leadership of one of those narcissistic dictators from the Human Rights Council and our Minister of Foreign Affairs described your stances as "destructive". Our state media also attacked you when you said in your final speech during the 38th session of the Human Right Council that: Bahraini refused "unconditional access by my Office and the Special Procedures" to Bahrain, amid continued crackdowns on civil society and additional legislation which further restricts the people's fundamental rights.
You have embodied undoubtedly in your stance the principles with which you bid us farewell in your speech: courage, challenge and yearning for a just leadership.
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