Alsaleh: Some Recommendations have already been Implemented
whilst Others Need Time to be Realized
On 20 March 2012, the President of the Shura Council and the
Chairman of the National Commission Ali bin Saleh Al-Saleh delivered
a speech before the King, in which he explained the workings of
the Commission and how it has tackled the issues under review, as
well as highlighting the recommendations which have been implemented.
He added that the Commission’s first steps were as follows:
1) Studying closely the recommendations of BICI.
2) Consulting with the Government and leading experts on the
means of introducing suitable procedures and mechanisms, to guarantee
full implementation of the recommendations.
3) Ensuring that the implementation of the recommendations coforms
with the very best international standards and practises.
With regards to the recommendations, Saleh noted that there are
differences in the requirements for their implementation. He explains
this point as follows:
a) Some recommendations require specific and clear procedures,
and can be implemented immediately through legislative or administrative
procedures, or through the Judiciary.
b) Other recommendations require a structural change in the relevant
institutions or building of capacity through training or rehabilitation.
c) The third part of the recommendations requires cultural changes
and developing programmes and strategies, which require time for
their effects to be felt on the ground.
With regards to how the recommendations will be implemented,
Saleh stated that ‘the Commission created three teams to study the
recommendations and to implement them. These teams are responsible
for covering legislative affairs, human rights affairs and national
reconciliation. The Commission held many meetings including meetings
with Government’s representatives. The Commission also received
the chair of the BICI, Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni and other
leading experts in two separate meetings’.
Saleh also praised the Government’s cooperation and its response
to the recommendations and proposals laid out by the Commission.
He also explained the content of his Commission’s report, and the
extent to which BICI’s recommendations have been implemented. These
details were also published on the National Commission’s website,
which contains all passed or proposed legislations, mechanisms,
procedures, strategies and reports.
Saleh explained in detail the achievements of the Commission,
especially with regards to human rights:
1) The Government has taken positive steps towards reinstating
employees in the public and private sectors, as well as resolving
the cases of dismissed students and reinstating them.
2) As for the places of worship issue, 12 locations have been
allotted and construction work has already begun on some. Progress
is on-going on the rest of the locations indicated in the [BICI]
report, in coordination with relevant agencies.
3) In the area of security, the scale of the implementation has
been comprehensive and far-reaching. The National Security Agency
has been transformed into an intelligence-only agency. In the police
and other security forces, wholesale training programmes have been
developed and are now being delivered. It will of course take time
for all members of the security forces to complete their training,
but in the meantime the advice and guidance of international policing
experts along with the publication of a police code of conduct,
has helped to further improve security procedures. Importantly,
new mechanisms to improve oversight and transparency within the
security sector have also now been put in place, the most significant
of which is the office of an independent ombudsman at the Ministry
of Interior, which will allow the public participation in monitoring
the police performance.
4) The Commission applauds the decision by the Attorney General
to order all charges related to speech activity to be dropped.
5) The Commission has verified the training programmes of judges
and public prosecutors. The Commission also commends the decision
to transfer all investigations into the allegations of torture to
the exclusive jurisdiction of the Public Prosecution, by establishing
a Special Investigation Unit concerned with accountability. The
Commission also appreciates the review of all judgments by the National
Safety Courts, whether through the ordinary courts or through the
Committee established by the Supreme Judicial Council.
6) In the field of education, steps were taken to ensure that
more tolerance and diversity are promoted. In the coming months,
together with UNESCO, these themes will be incorporated into school
7) A more open and free media is also part of the vision of the
BICI report, and the Commission can report that the Information
Affairs Authority has developed a comprehensive plan, following
the advice of French media experts, that will help to achieve these
8) The Commission has also given focus to the Civil Settlement
Initiative, which has been formulated in light of the Commission’s
proposal. Under this initiative, victims can settle their claims
in a consensual manner without prejudice to their right to resort
to the civil court, and without prejudice to criminal responsibility.
Some of these achievements have been made clear and others need
more time, as Saleh put it: ‘the process of implementation and the
path of reform are an ongoing journey. The changes that these measures
will bring about will, in some circumstances, take time to be felt
on the ground’