Human Rights Protection Guarantees Stability
The enormous political transformations that took place in Tunisia,
Egypt, Yemen and Jordan, shows that depriving people of their political,
economic, social and cultural rights will result in insecurity,
protests and political instability. The protestors’ demands were
in line with international human rights conventions, which were
signed but not applied by most Arab regimes.
No Arab regime is immune from the repercussions of what took
place in Tunisia and Egypt. The stability of these regimes varies
from one country to another, the closer a regime is to its people,
and the more it applies human rights, the more immune it will become
It is necessary to stress that human rights entail political,
economic, social and cultural aspects which are inseparable. All
these aspects are linked together and should not be dealt with separately.
Governments should not base policies or develop programmes that
concentrate on one aspect and ignore the rest. Some Arab regimes
refuse to make any political concessions in the hope that social
and economic reforms will suffice. Based on experience, this type
of policy has failed miserably because human rights are indivisible,
as the various human rights instruments clearly indicate.
Civil and political rights cannot be dismissed or delayed based
on the pretext of improving the living standards of citizens. Delaying
political reforms will ultimately lead to delays in economic development.
How can an economy flourish under a regime that oppresses citizens,
restricts their freedom of expression and assembly, oppresses trade
unions, silences journalists and has corrupted state institutions!?
Democracy and democratization becomes useless if the government
apparatus does not make concrete efforts in achieving economic and
social rights. Democracy will not last in an environment beset by
poverty, bad services and high rates of unemployment. In summary,
there is need to develop the political, economic, social, cultural
and civil fields simultaneously.
Bahrain’s reform experience, which began a decade ago, has given
the country ample time and opportunities to reinforce its stability.
Other Arab countries lack similar experience and hence are not fully
protected from instability. Stability can only be achieved by encouraging
more political, economic, social and cultural reforms, which can
reduce tension and maintain the country’s security.
More efforts need to be exerted in order to fulfil the needs
of citizens, especially the new generation. The demands of the new
generation are increasing all the time; they want better education,
health, work, housing, political and civil rights. They need to
be encouraged to participate in the political reform project, in
order to contribute in building a safe, stable, free and democratic