International experts to probe Bahrain unrest

June 30, 2011

Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa on Wednesday announced the formation of an international commission of human rights experts to investigate the incidents that hit Bahrain this year.

The fact-finding commission, established after consultations with several rights organisations, including the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, will be headed by Sharif Bassiouni and will include Philippe Kirsch, Nigel Rodley, Mahnoush H. Arsanjani and Badriya Al Awadi.

The commission will be fully independent and will submit a report to King Hamad by October 30, a royal order said.

The report is expected to include a complete account of the events that took place in February and March and of the conditions and circumstances in which they occurred. It will also state whether there were rights violations by any of the parties involved in the events.

The report will also investigate acts of violence, their character, how they occurred, the elements involved and the resulting consequences, particularly in Salmaniya hospital and the Pearl Roundabout.

The team will also probe cases of alleged police brutality as well as violence by demonstrators.

“All ministers have to cooperate with the commission and support its work without any reservation,” the King said at an extraordinary cabinet meeting attended by the Prime Minister and the Crown Prince.

“The deplorable incidents created an unprecedented level of crisis and tension and led many people to have concerns that the democracy and openness policy that we adopted when we assumed power would allow extremists to take the country to chaos and extremism,” King Hamad said.

“However, I tell you today, with firmness and determination, that we will not tolerate any extremist who calls for chaos or extremism to hijack our reforms,” he said.

The team will also report on whether there was harassment of the print and broadcast media as well as on the cases of alleged illegal demolition of religious buildings.



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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