Bahrain Monitor - A Monthly Newsletter on the Human Rights Situation in Bahrain

Confirmation and Application
of the National Pillars

This year around, Bahrain celebrated the anniversary of the adoption of the National Action Charter amidst an atmosphere of expectation and anticipation of a positive turn in the Bahraini dilemma in the light of the new impetus on the national dialogue spearheaded by the Crown Prince.

In his address to the nation on the occasion, The King of Bahrain confirmed his adherence to the national basics enshrined in the Charter. That means the national dialogue will remain within the frame of the basic charter. more

Towards Closer Relation with the Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights

The relation between Bahrain and the High Commission for Human Rights is currently going through a rough patch, which is a far cry from the substantial improvement it had witnessed courtesy of the personal efforts exerted by the Foreign Minister during the 21st session of the Human Rights Council in September 2012.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister meets
the High Commissioner, Navi Pillay

The following elements were largely credited for the improvement in relations at that time:-

Bahrain’s affirmation of its seriousness in honouring both Bassiouni’s and the Universal Periodic Review mechanism’s recommendations.

The renewal of the invitation to the International Rapporteur on torture to visit Bahrain. more

Conspiracy or Not, our Response should be to Reform the Internal Human Rights Situation

There are some politicians along with some sectors within the community who still share the belief that what is happening in Bahrain is nothing more than an international conspiracy involving other countries and some international human rights organizations. They view these organizations as mere pawns in the hands of international security agencies that use them to interfere in the State’s internal affairs, tarnish its image, tear apart its social fabric and even to topple the regime.

Part of the reason why such a conviction is so deeply entrenched is the double standard policy practiced by some western states. Alongside Bahrain, many countries exist with backward political systems, where the public don’t enjoy even a fraction of the freedom that is practiced in Bahrain, more

The Way to Securing the
Success of the National Rreconciliation’s Process

Hasan Moosa Shafaei

Hasan Moosa Shafaei

Once again our hopes are raised, shared by the general public and others, whether countries, institutions or organisations who are genuinely keen on Bahrain’s stability and development. The feel good factor that a solution to the Bahraini crisis is within reach has been triggered by Crown Prince Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa‘s latest serious engagement in the dialogue process, and by some leaked reports quoting numerous sources suggesting that a bargain for a solution is on the way.

This time around we hope that our wishes and prayers would be answered and that Bahrain would embark on a promising prospect of reform, change and stability. more

Towards Activating Human
Rights Institutions in Bahrain

The creation of Human Rights Institutions is not particularly difficult. What is difficult is to be able to give these institutions essence and meaning to enable them to fulfil their aims and duties, and to persuade the public and the world at large to acknowledge their effectiveness.

Either as a result of international pressure or as a ploy to fool domestic public opinion, some countries went along with the idea of creating their own Human Rights’ institutions to avoid further pressure. They were not genuinely seeking to improve their human rights situation through the establishment of effective institutions, as they continued to pursue the same repressive policies, but this time under the guise of adhering to human rights requirements. However, in the final analysis, ineffective human rights institutions could represent a burden on any country on the moral, more

If We have Learned Our Lesson, We should Let Bygones be Bygones

When large crowds are engaged in some conflicts or disputes, not one particular group or person is to blame. In a civil strife no regime would be able to punish a large number of people. Therefore collective punishment is not the answer to the problem.

Loss of life and revenge will only inflame the situation and gaping wounds would remain for a long time. No solutions are left except to forgive everybody or limit the circle of punishment to those officials who have committed the atrocities.

All feuding parties in Bahrain have committed mistakes through words or actions, trespassed on a number of occasions, instilled hatred and violated human rights. If the law of the land is to be applied, thousands will end up imprisoned. Retrospective punishment is therefore unfeasible, at a time when Bahrain strives for a way out and aspires to a stable future. more

A Joint Solution to
Both the Political and Human Rights Files

Any observer to the Bahraini scene would not fail to notice how its political and human rights files are so intertwined, not only in the minds of the local political stakeholders, but also as perceived by the international political circles and human rights organizations. The conclusion is that the two files are inextricably linked and reflect each other.

Under political stability and with the existence of a political process and ongoing reforms, it is important to emphasise the dire need for a complete separation between political and human rights issues particularly in relation to the activities of the local civil society organisations, on the one hand,and the political societies on the other. Without such distinction neither the work of human rights organisations nor that of the political societies would develop, as each has its own separate tools, targets, discourse and professionals. Those who want to take part in political activities they can do so through the relevant societies, while existing laws allow those who want to pursue human rights work to either join already existing institutions or apply for the establishment of new human rights organisations. more

The High Commissioner welcomes the National Dialogue and Technical Co-operation

During his meeting with the UN High commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in mid January 2014, the Foreign Minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, expressed the Kingdom of Bahrain’s genuine desire to consolidate cooperation with the U.N. and its human rights institutions, particularly the High Commission for Human Rights.

He welcomed the agreement reached between the two sides on the terms of reference for the technical cooperation and capacity building. On her part, Pillay affirmed the commission’s commitment regarding the extension of constructive technical assistance and the consolidation of the channels of communication to explore the means to further developing the cooperation between the two sides in the field of human rights. more