The Relationship with the Interior Ministry is Fluctuating
The relationship between Bahrain's Interior Ministry and human
rights organizations is fluctuating despite previous attempts to
bridge the gap between the two parties. The Interior Ministry believes
that these human rights organizations do not adequately appreciate
the positive steps it has taken, and on the other hand, the organizations
themselves believe that the Ministry has not taken the initiative
to establish strong cooperation with them in order to benefit human
rights in Bahrain.
In this context, Mr Abdulah Al Drazi, Secretary General of the
Bahrain Human Rights Society, expressed the Society's full willingness
to cooperate with the Interior Ministry in order to improve the
human rights situation in Bahrain. In an interview with Al Waqt
newspaper on 21/2/2009 Drazi described the Ministry's establishment
of a committee for citizens' complaints as a positive step and hoped
that his Society will have the chance to participate in this committee
and to follow up peoples' complaints. He also hoped to meet with
the Interior Minister to discuss the scope of this cooperation.
|Mr Abdulah Al Drazi
Drazi also added that the previous committee set up by the Ministry
was useful and with the Society's cooperation, the two were able
to solve many issues such as renaturalization, the reemployment
of some ex-employees imprisoned during the nineties, and several
other issues. Drazi observed that the Ministry had granted the Society
permission to visit Jow prison twice in 2005 and that the ensuing
report issued by the Society sparked the beginning of the unstable
relationship between the two.
The Interior Ministry had asked to view and respond to the report
before its publication but the Society had refused to comply. This
was consequently seen by the Ministry as an attempt to defame the
government rather than cooperation between two parties seeking to
develop human rights in the country.
Moreover, Drazi said that the Bahrain Human Rights Society opposes
the use of violence and added: the Society's position on this matter
is clear; it refuses the use of violence in all its forms. We are
against the burning of tires and the vandalism of public properties
and we stress that the struggle to promote human rights is first
and foremost a peaceful one’.
However, he added that the Society is also against the excessive
use of violence against protestors and mentioned receiving news
of some detainees who have been subjected to torture, adding: '
it is important for us that a positive view on the human rights
situation in Bahrain is disseminated, and, therefore, must put an
end to these abuses by allowing neutral parties to verify these
Finally, Drazi stressed that 'the Bahrain Human Rights Society
deals with all issues from a human rights perspective and, therefore,
the Interior Ministry should not see it as an opposition or politicized