To differ with and criticize government policies and positions is also legitimate.
Confrontation and clashing mostly occur upon transgression of what is commonly known as the political ‘constants’.
This refers to the agreed upon constants: maintaining the system of government; preservation of national unity; protection of religious and denominational diversity; rejection of violence as a methodology for change and political action.
Although the overwhelming popular majority in Bahrain believes in these national constants, some political factions - not the grass roots - have caused a high level of political, social and security instability and confusion due to their contravention of these constants, whether it was consciously planned or otherwise due to being carried away in the heat of political conflict. more
Bahrain’s Civil Society:
|Founders of Bahrain Center for Human Rights in a meeting with the King|
1/ Protection of the democratic change, whether comprehensive or gradual, against the elements of extremism and terrorism; safeguarding the nascent state and preserving democratic values;
2/ Abortion and besiege of any extremist alternative that may arise.
At least this is the lesson learned, for instance, from the experience of the strong and mature civil society in Tunisia in the face of the fundamentalist stream which later grew into an extension of Al-Qaeda and ISIS by feeding on errors, partial administrative failure, as well as political and security vacuum. more
Pauline McCabe, Criminal
Bahrain’s record on human rights has been repeatedly criticised following the treatment of protesters in the wake of the “Arab Spring” of 2011. Most recently, the human rights organisation Reprieve published a report last month calling on Northern Ireland to stop training security forces and ministry of the interior staff in Bahrain because of the countries “dire” human rights record.
While I respect the important work of Reprieve, I want to explain why, in this instance, I think that the organisation is wrong. more
In an article entitled ‘Bahrain deserves a chance to prove itself on Human Rights’, published in The Irish Times, on October 17th, 2016, Professor Pauline McCabe, offered an objective assessment of the efforts and progress made by the Ministry of interior’s Ombudsman in Bahrain, despite being a relatively new institution, established in compliance with the BICI recommendations.
Professor McCabe emphasized the importance of the policy of practical engagement in helping countries like Bahrain overcome their shortcomings as far as Human Rights are concerned; such as illustrated by the UK-funded work undertaken by Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas (NI-CO) in the fields of training and capacity building for Bahrain’s security forces and Ministry of Interior’s staff. more
The historical relationship between Bahrain and the United Kingdom is not the only reason why the government of Bahrain sought technical support from its historical ally, in modernizing its human rights institutions and related aspects.
Undoubtedly, the historical relationship does play a role in promoting trust.
But the historical relationship has also resulted in a better British understanding of the reality of the Gulf region and its people, culture and how to conduct reforms in that region.
These days, Gulf nations view the United States as a reckless friend who has no grasp of history or culture, but rather seeks to impose its views in a manner that leads to chaos rather than reform and modernization. more
The Government of Bahrain has gone to great lengths to create several institutions pertaining to the justice system and human rights. Foremost among these institutions are the bodies concerned with monitoring, investigation and grievances, which include: The Office of the Ombudsman, the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR), Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Rights Commission (PDRC).
Like any fledgling institution, these bodies need time to establish themselves and gain the necessary experience to perform their roles and achieve their objectives. more
Criticism is still being levelled against Bahrain by international human rights bodies and by some states at the Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Several queries are directed to the Government about specific human rights issues. Thus, many problems arise in this regard:
First: Organizations complain about the lack or tardiness of responses.
Second: Responses may be insufficient and do not properly or completely answer the specific questions asked. more
Political violence in the name of religion has become widespread in the Arab world which witnesses a proliferation of organizations that use religion to justify violence in the beginning, only to turn it into a political investment in the end.
This issue is not purely cultural; nor is it just a historical legacy brought about by warring sectarian and denominational communities. Religious violence is also, first and foremost, a phenomenon which has current roots, and its players do not belong to the distant past, but are actually living among us. more
With the continuing ascendancy of the Human rights and its widespread impact on the international relations arena, it has become necessary for states to exert greater efforts to improve their human rights affairs, in accordance with the principles and criteria agreed upon by the international community, and later included in agreements, treaties and protocols that are binding to all parties signatories to them.
By virtue of their memberships in international conventions, treaties and protocols, states automatically become subject to the international mechanisms designed to ensure their fulfilment of their obligations. more