The Right Direction
In his speech on 23 November 2011, the King of Bahrain mapped
out the country’s future plan of action after Bassiouni’s report;
which includes moving beyond past violations, holding perpetrators
accountable and compensating victims in order to achieve national
reconciliation and permanent political stability. This attitude
should be adopted by all social and political parties as it represents
the best way out of the political and security crisis as well as
the social division.
It is incorrect to hide behind sectional or party interests in
order to run away from the responsibility of implementing the BICI
recommendations; regardless of excuses and questions raised. We
are aware that there are many challenges facing the implementation
of the recommendations, however, the hopes of the Bahrainis rest
on their speedy implementation. Foiling the persistent endeavours
to reform the the political and Human Rights situation is unwise
because it prolongs the crisis and is not beneficial to any group.
Bassiouni’s report is the first step to rebuild better relations
between the Government and international human rights organizations
and Office of the High Commissioner for human rights (OHCHR). It
is unacceptable for Government bodies to constantly attack human
rights organisations and deal with them with a lack of transparency.
It is also unacceptable that the work of international human rights
organisation is confined to condemning violations without exploring
the genuine prospects of enhancing the Human Rights situation.
There is a clear indication that the lack of trust between the
Government and human rights organisations during the past few months
in particular has nearly ended. This is due to the Government’s
reassessment of the nature of its relation with these organisations.
We hope that this will improve Government official human rights
discourse and the Government should respond to concerns of these
organisations seriously and with good intention.
Recently, the Bahraini Government called for cooperation with
international human rights organisation and setting up joint projects.
We also hope that these organisations would take notice and seize
upon the existing opportunities in Bahrain and the will to reform
to broaden their way of thinking in order to establish a cooperative
Human Rights effort that would benefit Bahrain strategically and
prevent future social and political tension and violations. We now
have Bassiouni’s report and an honest official intention to reform
the situation; we should build on these two factors for a healthy
relationship between the Government and international human rights
organisations because Bahrain needs the expertise of these organisations.
Co-operation should initially begin in the implementation of Bassiouni’s