Monday, January 14, 2013

Several items on the continuing outrages of the Bahraini government have appeared over the past few months that deserve your attention

A hard-hitting OPED by Nick Kristof.

Amnesty International's 2012 report on Bahrain, as well as a stream of reports on prison abuses, and the capricious and punitive use of the legal system to quash dissent, punish medical professionals for providing medical services to injured protesters, and silence human rights reporting and free speech in general.

The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) issued a useful report in November 2012 offering a one year assessment of the extent to which the Bahraini government has successfully addressed the findings of the Bahrain Indepedent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which issued its damning report in November 2011.  The BICI was led my Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, the highly respected law profesor.   If you have been following developments in Bahrain, you will probably guess the findings, namely that the Bahraini monarchy has only fully implemented three of the 26 BICI's recommendations.  As the POMED report notes, several of the key recommendations have not been implemented at all, including accountability for officials responsible for torture and human rights abuses.

Human Rights Watch offers its own one year appraisal of the implementation of the BICI recommendations, and reaches findings that are comparable to the POMED report.  As Joe Stork, then Deputy Middle East Director for HRW, noted:
“Bahrain deservedly got a lot of credit for appointing an independent body to assess the government’s violations, but a year later, authorities have still not carried out the key recommendations. In fact, in many ways Bahrain’s human rights situation has only deteriorated since the king accepted the commission’s findings and recommendations.”

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