Understanding political reality is
necessary to guide human
Politicians have an important role in dealing with problems during
political or human rights crises. This involves taking into consideration
the nature of the crisis and its local and regional effects as well
as local political balances, among other issues.
Human rights activists approach the problems from a different
perspective. Their main area of interest is monitoring and documenting
human rights violations, helping the victims, providing technical
assistance to ensure that the Government apparatus is in accordance
with internationally accepted standards and preventing the reoccurrence
The political approach considers human rights as an effective
tool of pressure. On the other hand, the human rights approach is
concerned with the effect of politics on the human rights situation.
Some local and regional human rights organizations marginalise politics
to the extent that it has negatively impacted the human rights cause.
These one-sided perspectives are exactly what weakened the role
of local, regional and international organisations in guiding the
way the crisis is managed on a political and rights levels. As a
result of this, these organisations have been unable to take real
initiatives and to contribute to the alleviation of the crisis.
This has limited the role of these organisations to condemning the
violations without taking into consideration the political dimension
to the crisis which is the real problem. Due to the? political uncertainty,
these organisations have become dependent on opposition sources
and at the same time, have ignored and cast doubts on information
provided by official sources.
Based on this, it is possible to say that the unclear picture
of the Bahraini political scene among human rights organisations
did not help in positively directing the political and human rights
situation. Therefore, it is possible to say that during the crisis
in Bahrain the general performance of local, regional and international
organisations was not constructive.
The performance of civil human rights organizations in general
was not effective in dealing with the social divisions and failed
to reconsider their performance and discourse. At the same time,
no efforts were detected by the National Institution for Human Rights;
which marginalised itself to the extent that it did not have any
role in both Bassiouni and Saleh’s committees.
The Bahraini civil society in general lacks expertise, tools,
resources and a strategic vision. During the crisis, civil society
organizations did not receive any advice or technical assistance
from their counterparts in the region or from the international
The political conflict between the opposition and the Government
was obvious, and civil society institutions failed to remain independent
and were divided between the two sides.
This division in Bahraini civil society organizations, which
resulted from political polarizations, was reflected in the performance
of regional and international human rights organizations which evaluated
the situation in Bahrain based on biased sources as well as Arab
and foreign media. This negatively affected their performance in
positively guiding the political and human rights situation.
Civil society organizations should be away from political polarizations-
whether it be from the side of the Government or the opposition.
For if they succeed at doing so, they will be able to assess the
situation from a new human rights perspective and issue statements
and reports that are more effective and objective.