Bahrain’s foreign minister stresses death investigation will be fair

February 18, 2011

Bahrain’s foreign minister has warned against defeating the purpose of a commission set up to investigate the death of two protesters this week.

“The commission will carry out its work impartially and transparently,” Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said.

“We call upon all states and international organisations to strive for truth and accuracy, and not to prejudge matters in advance of the conclusions of the investigation,” he said.

Ali Mshaima and Fadhel Al Matrook died during street protests on Monday and Tuesday respectively and King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa ordered the formation of a commission to look into the deaths and the circumstances surrounding the incidents.

The commission, chaired by Jawad Al Arayyedh, the deputy prime minister and a legal expert who was among the team that defended Bahrain’s case in its border dispute with Qatar at the International Court of Justice, is made up of six members, including two lawmakers and one minister.

“The protests seen in Bahrain could happen in any free democratic country. The government has responded promptly and responsibly to events, through the establishment by Royal Order of a special commission to investigate the deaths of two dear sons of Bahrain, and to ensure full and proper accountability,” Shaikh Khalid said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.

The interior ministry said that it is holding in custody the men suspected of involvement in the two cases.

Shaikh Khalid welcomed the move as “a step that makes clear that the Kingdom of Bahrain does not condone the use of excessive force at any time” and stressed that the commission “will carry out its work impartially and transparently.”

“Bahrain’s prompt response to these unfortunate incidents demonstrates that it is a country governed by the rule of law and through constitutional institutions. The legislation on gatherings and demonstrations has been adopted by the elected Council of Representatives and the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed by the National Action Charter, the Constitution and the law, which must be respected by all,” he said.

“The reform programme launched by HM King Hamad will continue moving forward. It is a programme which guarantees the separation of powers, human rights principles, and the freedom of opinion and expression,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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