Bahrain: impunity is not an option to build a democratic future

Geneva, Palais des Nations (United Nations), 21 May 2012


 
 
The Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT), in partnership with No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), convened today a meeting on "Towards Justice for Bahrain", which was hosted at the United Nations Office (Palais des Nations) in Geneva. The meeting was organised on the occasion of the thirteenth session of the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group, during which the human rights records of 14 States, including Bahrain, will be reviewed.
 
As highlighted by the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), issued on 23 November 2011, the Bahraini security forces perpetrated “massive systematic violations and widespread torture” against civilians during mass protests in the country in February and March 2011. Despite promising indications by the Bahraini highest authorities in accepting the report and its recommendations, little has changed and the Bahraini people continue to suffer violence at the hands of this same Government.
 
Participants at the meeting on Towards Justice for Bahrain included Bahraini activists, international experts and representatives of national and international institutions, including: Jalila Al Salman, Deputy Vice President Bahrain Teachers Union (arrested in March 2011 for 5 months and a victim of torture), Syed Hadi Al Musawi, Head of the Human Rights Department of Al Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest opposition party, Lamees Dhaif, Bahraini journalist, Karim Radhi, Member of Bahrain’s General Federation of Trade Unions, Dr Taha Alderazi, a leading Bahraini brain surgeon, Faisal Hayat, Bahraini journalist, detained and tortured for 3 months in 2011, Mohamed Al Tajer, Bahraini lawyer defending those who have been arrested and Abdulhamad Aldashti, Kuwaiti MP. The meeting will be co-chaired by Marco Perduca, member of the NRPTT and Italian Senator, and Niccolo’ Figa-Talamanca, Secretary-General of NPWJ.
 
Statement by Niccolo’ Figa-Talamanca, Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:
 
“Despite the commitment pledged by His Majesty the King of Bahrain to implement all of the reforms suggested in the BICI Report, the situation in Bahrain remains of great concern: the humanitarian situation is alarming and human rights violations seem to continue unabated.
 
“Notably, the partial and sluggish reforms implemented thus far by the Bahraini Government have failed to address thoroughly, and put an end to, human rights violations and to answer the Bahraini people’s demands for political rights and participation. These deficits all leave Bahrain’s longstanding culture of impunity intact.
 
“Thus far, the Bahraini people have persevered alone in their pursuit of a free and democratic Bahrain, but their success will require the support of both local and international actors. Today, it is even more urgent for the international community to demand that Bahrain complies with its responsibilities, implements the BICI report in full under a tight and closely monitored timetable and ensures that citizens can actively engage in democratic reform and contribute to the anchoring of their country’s future on democracy, rule of law and respect of fundamental human rights.
 
“Justice and peace are integral to democracy and NPWJ and the NRPTT stand by the people of Bahrain in their effort to secure effective and genuine accountability for the violations committed in Bahrain to date. We urge the international community and the Government and people of Bahrain to ensure that the BICI report is a catalyst for positive change, beginning – rather than closing – this chapter of Bahrain’s history.”
 
Documentation:
Program of the event
Flyer of the event
NRPTT/NPWJ Press release

For further information, contact Isabelle de Ghellinck on IDeGhellinck@npwj.org or +32-494-533 912 - Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-39 15.