2016: Bassiouni, US State Department Deny Bahraini Claims of Implementing BICI Recommendations (Timeline)
2017-01-06 - 10:47 p
Bahrain Mirror: The year 2016 witnessed an interesting development on the level of implementing the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), led by Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni in 2011. The surprise was that Bahrain officially announced the implementation of all the recommendations, in an official ceremony attended by Bassiouni himself in May 2016.
However, the event ended with the internationally-renowned judge denying the Bahraini allegations reported by the Bahrain News Agency (BNA), claiming that Bahrain implemented all the BICI recommendations.
In his statement, Bassiouni said, "only 10 recommendations of the total 26 were implemented", adding that the exerted efforts in this regard unfortunately were not successful", stressing that the efforts should continue. Bassiouni accused Bahrain of deliberately forging his statements, through mistranslating them, in a way that showed the recommendations were fully implemented.
In addition, Bassiouni explicitly called on the Bahraini government to release the opposition leaders and political figures, and anyone convicted over his beliefs and political opinion. He also called for investigating about those responsible for killing five persons under torture, assuring that their superiors will be held accountable.
"The Government's task is not over yet, even if the task of the commission is over", Bassiouni said, adding, "this is not only required at the level of justice, but also to push the advancement of social justice and political reconciliation. Bahrain needs this for its future."
At the same time, the US State Department declined to comment on statements attributed to Bassiouni. However, it announced it is preparing a report about Bahrain's implementation of Bassiouni's recommendations, at the request of the Congress. Journalists, for their part, accused the State Department of delaying the delivery of its report.
After human rights organizations and journalists exercised some pressure on it, the US State Department issued its report on the implementation of the Bassiouni recommendations in June 22, 2016. The report confirmed that Bahrain has not implemented a significant number of key recommendations, and has stopped its reconciliation efforts.
The US Department of State Spokesperson, John F. Kirby, noted that the new crackdown campaign in Bahrain launched in June 2016, which included suspending and dissolving al-Wefaq Society, revoking Sheikh Isa Qassim's nationality and arresting activist Nabeel Rajab, is further evidence that the BICI recommendations have not been implemented.
Kirby highlighted that the United Stated is not afraid of adopting decisions that might change the level of cooperation with Bahrain. He stressed that what is occurring is a subject of constant debate and triggers the US State Department's constant concerns. "I just don't want to speak ahead of unannounced decisions, but we certainly have other available options," the US State Department spokesperson added.
On related note, the Bahraini Justice Minister announced in May 2016, that the Bassiouni institute in Italy received contracts to train 50% of judges, prosecution and military judiciary members.
comments powered by Disqus