The Difficult Challenge:
Providing Security and Respecting Human Rights
The events that have taken place in Bahrain have disturbed the
security of the country and violated human rights. These two issues
represent a challenge to State institutions, the civil society organizations
and the active political forces. Theoretically, everybody is against
disturbing the security or violating human rights, but in practice
human rights have been placed second to security. We believe that
security and stability can be achieved without undermining human
Protecting the security of the country is a necessity for human
rights but cannot replace it. The security of the country should
not be at the expense of human rights. It is difficult to balance
the need for security and respect for human rights. Whenever political
circumstances become tense, balancing these two issues and controlling
human rights breaches becomes a difficult task. The authorities
emphasise the importance of security and prioritise it over human
rights. On the other hand, the advocates of democracy and human
rights emphasise the idea that the failure to respect human rights
and the increase in violations will ultimately lead to instability.
It is a difficult equation.
Instability and security tension directly affect human rights
because they have a negative impact on the right to life, freedom
and physical safety. Instability is an important factor in undermining
the role of civil society by restricting its activities or politicizing
it. This results in civil society institutions losing their value.
Instability also undermines social and economic development and
negatively affects the comprehensive application of human rights.
As is the case in many countries, Bahrain has faced the challenge
of adhering to human rights standards during these political crisis
and security tensions. The challenges include the possibility of
undermining the security of individuals, which is a fundamental
right. The occurrence of violations in this regard such as mistreatment,
the decrease in the margin of freedom of expression, restricting
civil society organizations, will have a negative effect on the
rule of law, Good Governance and human rights.
This highlights that stability, protecting the security of the
country and respecting human rights are intertwined. We cannot defend
one at the expense of the other. Without security, human rights
are lost, and without human rights, security cannot be attained.
For these reasons, the international human rights law obliges the
all countries to take necessary procedures to protect security not
only through the wise use of force but by confronting political,
economic, cultural, and social problems, which would Sprovide the
necessary environment for instability and provoke the public into
aggravating the situation.
This means that it is the duty of the State to accomplish two
things together: protect the security of the country and provide
social services and political and economic rights. This can only
be achieved through respecting human rights. Moreover, the State
needs to control the actions of the law enforcement bodies in accordance
with national legislations and laws. Human rights should always
be well protected especially during major crisis.
There is an inseparable bond between human rights and security.
For respecting the rule of law and human rights are both essential
to official and public efforts to provide security and combating
Security can be regarded as a priority when it protects the lives,
properties and dignity of citizens, but only if this is achieved
in accordance to Islamic rulings, local laws and human rights principles.
But when means outside these are used, this will have a negative
impact and the opposite effects. In such cases, the price of stability
is very high and will be short-lived. The objectives of prioritizing
security cannot be achieved without taking into consideration human
rights. Failing to do so will reflect negatively on the security
of the country.
Taking effective measures to impose law and order on one hand,
and protecting human rights on the other hand, are not conflicting
issues but complement one another.