Preventative Mechanisms are a priority

During Bahrain’s months of crisis, in spite of some reservations regarding the role played by international human rights organizations, their work has resulted in the Government’s admission of the occurrence of human rights violations and the establishment of an investigation committee as well as another follow up unit in charge of implementing the recommendations. This is in addition to the compensation of victims, introduction of a code of conduct for the police, organisation of workshops for law enforcement officers and the prosecution of perpetrators of torture.

All these steps are taking place although there remains some tension and violence on the streets which renders the prevention of further human rights violations a difficult task. Despite all achievements, the main source of concern can be summarised in a specific question: how can we put forward mechanisms to prevent future human rights violations? This question is more important than how to tackle the problems of violations after they have taken place.

Currently, Bahrain is in the phase of tackling violations after their occurrence, but all efforts will be inadequate if preventative mechanisms are not introduced to prevent further violations. In other words, Bahrain needs a system which includes new legislations, the establishment of judicial institutions, reforming the Judiciary and promoting talents and transparency in official institutions.

This new system represents a priority for human rights activists and International Human Rights Organisations and should become a priority for the Bahraini Government as well. The Government announced many legislative steps during the last few months; however, it seems that Bahrain is still in need of the help of the OHCHR and other human rights organizations. This form of help is not new, and it is important for the Bahraini Government to request it and cooperate with international institutions.

This cooperation will create a positive ambience between the two parties and will contribute to settle down the prevailing crisis of trust. This is also an effective means of convincing international institutions that Bahrain is on the right track and is serious about reforming its human rights file. Without this kind of cooperation, statements of condemnation will continue and the and mistrust will prevail.