02 Apr 2012 DT
Ministry raps HRW stance
The Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development has expressed disappointment with the statement issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on March 28.
The ministry called the statement titled ‘Bahrain: Vital Reform Commitments Unmet’ as reactionary and premature.
As His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the National Commission and the government made it clear repeatedly, the reform process is ongoing, the ministry said in a statement.
Significant achievement to date does not represent a ceiling for the government’s efforts. Moreover, it has only been 130 days since the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report was published.
The ministry also said that progress regarding the BICI recommendations are documented on www.biciactions.bh and that they have been recognised by foreign governments and organisations including the British Foreign Office.
The ministry’s statement said that many of the key recommendations in the BICI report have been implemented.
Moreover, the ministry said it regrets the unbalanced tone and content of the HRW statement.
The ministry notes that the HRW statement disagrees with the advice provided by independent legal experts as to how the independent investigation mechanism recommended by the BICI should be designed.
The ministry notes that, while legal experts may have differing views, the government of Bahrain has relied on advice provided by some of the world’s leading legal experts in the field, and has full confidence in the advice – now published and available online – that was provided and followed.
The ministry also notes HRW’s apparent frustration at the rate of prosecution of senior officers for abuses committed during the events of 2011.
As HRW acknowledges, however, 121 investigations are underway.
This has resulted in 10 prosecutions so far, but it is expected that others will follow as evidence continues to be gathered