Bassiouni’s Report and the Responsibility
of all Parties to Implement It

George Ishak

George Ishak

A member of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights

The outcomes of Bassiouni’s report are a big leap forward in understanding human rights because it is an important shift in Arab policy in dealing with human rights violations. These violations cannot be ignored and should be criminalised on all levels. This is a new chapter of individual responsibility and the ability to highlight international crimes. Bassiouni’s report summarises the human rights violations and presents solutions and recommendations.

It is important to realise that the report is the first of its kind in the region and comes in a time when human rights are regarded as a basic issue in the entire Arab world. Hence, it is the first step towards solving the current situation in Bahrain and a framework for the region. This is because it is the first time that an international committee is brought to investigate an internal crisis. This is a pioneering experience in the Arab region in the context of transitional justice and the rule of law.

Transitional justice is also known as ‘reconciliational justice’ and is an important issue in international law and has been studied greatly as well as the issues which arise during transitional periods and the mechanisms and solutions which could be used. As a result of this it is possible to view Bassiouni’s report as a big step forward with regards to cooperation with international organisations such as OHCHR and the HRC. It is also an opportunity to learn from the international community how to solve ?our local problems.

Bassiouni’s report suggested the implementation of certain principles and mechanisms of international law, including promoting justice, compensation and restitution and to guarantee that violations don’t re-happen. These principles and mechanisms still need a strong will to put them into practice and hence all Bahraini parties need to work together to find a common ground and agree on a number of principles and laws which will support and help in the implementation process of the recommendations. There is no doubt that some recommendations have been implemented by the Government which is working towards achieving reconciliation and reducing tension with the opposition.

If the Bahraini model succeeds, it will be looked upon as an example of transitional justice in the Arab region. This success depends on whether reconciliation can be achieved between the Government and the opposition as well as putting into place modern laws and legislations which respect human rights and bringing those who committed violations to justice.