Commission sets Thursday deadline for probe appointments

September 3, 2011

An international panel investigating alleged human rights abuses in Bahrain since the events of February and March said on Saturday that its deadline for scheduling appointments is September 8.

“The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) urges individuals and societies with complaints that fall under the commission’s fact-finding mandate to schedule interviews with its investigating team over the next week until Thursday September 8,” the commission said.

The BICI said that it had hired four more investigators to boost its current team in order to accommodate further complaints. “Between them, the new investigators are expected to interview 1,000 people and the BICI would like to remind interested parties of the deadline of September 30 and the importance of contacting the commission through the allocated hotlines in order to schedule an interview.”

The final report is due to be submitted on October 30 to King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa and will be made public in its entirety. The BICI is mandated to “investigate and report on the events occurring in Bahrain in February and March 2011, and any subsequent consequences arising out of the aforementioned events, and to make such recommendations as it may deem appropriate.”

The BICI last month twice denied media claims that its chairman or one of its members had resigned. “The BICI denies the report being circulated on some electronic social media platforms that its Chairperson Professor Cherif Bassiouni or any of its members have resigned their positions,” the commission said in a statement.

“All the members of the commission continue to discharge their duties. The commissioners are studying and analysing the increasingly large amounts of evidence being gathered by its investigators for the preparation of the BICI final report,” it said.

The commission also shut down its office for three days after it was stormed by hundreds of people who were apparently upset over remarks attributed to Bassiouni. The verbal and physical aggression, reportedly fuelled by online forums and occurring after allegations that at least one member of the probing team had resigned, was rejected by several Bahraini groups.

The committee said that it would not bow to pressure tactics or allow itself to be used as a political tool by any group and vowed to continue its work despite verbal and physical attacks on its staff.



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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