Bahrain Mirror: Analyzing the European resolution on the human rights and political situation in Bahrain, Al-Wefaq former MP Ali Al-Aswad said that all the European countries agree now that the Kingdom of Bahrain needs to carry out political reform, release prisoners of conscience, resume the work of opposing political societies, work again within the official institution and activate political partnership.
Al-Aswad explained that the European resolution move was based on communication with the European Union Commission and the attempt to include the human rights file in the EU-Bahrain cooperation agreement."
He said that the communication between Bahrain and the European Union Commission on the cooperation agreement started months ago and was activated last February. Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani represented Bahrain in two meetings held with the Commission in February, in which he promised to carry out several human rights reforms. Meanwhile, the Commission asked him about the practical procedures and steps he promised to make, but he did not have an answer. Instead, he spoke again about the passive institutions like the Ombudsman and Special Investigation Unit. No one was convinced with the promises he made.
With respect to the resolution's effect on the relations between the EU and Bahrain, Al-Aswad said: "The resolution is now with the Commission within the EU's legal frameworks. Regarding any future negotiations or meetings with Bahrain, the commission's agenda should include this resolution's points."
"This is one of the methods of political pressure exerted on Bahrain. There will be observation by European countries concerning the human rights aspects as well as accuracy in dealing with Bahrain. We expect that any inter-projects or deals will be reviewed."
"Europeans are convinced that the crown prince and prime minister should intervene and use his power to restore political dialogue and take serious human rights steps to improve the situation in the country, as clearly demonstrated in the resolution," Al-Aswad added.
Concerning the official reaction in Bahrain and the reaction of pro-authority tools, Al-Aswad commented saying "the authorities in Bahrain have provoked a whirlwind to silence international bodies, but we affirm that the European Parliament is aware of these methods. Some European MPs know Bahrain well. They visited it and examined the situation closely. They know that the Government of Bahrain is far from implementing the recommendations of Bassiouni or that of Geneva. These MEPs know that Bahrain is not interested in political dialogue with the opposition. This is the government of Bahrain."
The former MP stressed that there is a clear mechanism to follow up on the implementation of the European Parliament's draft resolution by the Commission. We, as opposition, will be in direct and permanent contact with the MEPs who voted on the resolution. We are also in contact with the European Commission.
He stressed that the government of Bahrain hasn't taken any serious step so far, adding that it assigned the Ombudsman and the SIU, which have passive role according to the EU resolution, to conduct formal follow-up. Al-Aswad confirmed that the MEPs are not really interested in what the government does now because they know what to do. They only care about the response of the EU Commission to their resolution."