Bahrain pulls its bid for UN Rights coUNcil

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Bahrain pulls its bid for UN Rights coUNcil

At night, October 20, 2010, a view of the skyline of Manama, capital of Bahrain. A UN website shows that REUTERS GENEVA Bahrain will no longer be running in an election later this month for the UN's top human rights body.

A UN site showed that Bahrain withdrew its candidacy on September 26 to run for a three-year seat at the Geneva-based body, without giving details.

A Bahraini government spokeswoman told Reuters that the deferral of the Gulf Arab state's candidacy results from ongoing consultation with its geographical group as a standard practice.

Bahrain remains fully supportive of the Human Rights Council, which it has been elected three times, and will continue to work with other UN member states to promote global human rights best practices, according to the spokesperson.

A memo circulated by the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy among council members drew attention to allegations of arbitrary detention and reprisals against individuals, as cited in a UN report last month.

The non-profit organization held a series of meetings with UN officials and diplomats in August to urge states not to support Bahrain.

A scorecard published by the International Service for Human Rights gave Bahrain a green tick for just three of 16 criteria, one of the lowest scores among candidate countries.

READ MORE: Bahrain wants to return Chinese tourists to Bahrain.

The rights council does not make legally binding decisions but it can be trusted with political weight and can authorize investigations which can sometimes help international trials. The UN General Assembly in New York is due to hold elections later this month.