10 Years after BICI Report, Bahrain Only Applied One Recommendation out of 26 (BCHR)

2021-11-24 - 7:54 م

Bahrain Mirror: In a detailed report on the tenth anniversary of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights said the full and honest implementation of the BICI 26 recommendations was supposed to pave the way for a new era in Bahrain, however, Bahrain is still in turmoil.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights said "Ten years on, the pro-democracy movement leaders are still behind bars, the major opposition political parties are outlawed, and the only independent newspaper in the country is indefinitely suspended."

"The Government of Bahrain's (GoB) crackdown on free expression is in full force, as well as attempts to intimidate its critics into silence. The government officials responsible for killing dozens of protesters and torturing hundreds have not been held accountable, nor have those who directed the crackdown, as the government human rights bodies have proved ineffective," it added.

"The grievances that sparked the 2011 uprising remain unaddressed. On the contrary, the Government of Bahrain has escalated its repression, systematically and thoroughly closing civil and political space."

By assessing the implementation of the BICI recommendations, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) has found that the Government of Bahrain has only fully implemented one recommendation, and it either has partially implemented or has not implemented the remaining 25.

The center explained "Regarding some recommendations, the institutional and legal measures were insufficient to meet the requirements of their full and sincere implementation, whereas regarding others, these measures were adequate but not followed up with an impartial execution."

"In both cases, the government has not done enough to achieve the objectives of most of the recommendations, nor the overall purpose of them as a roadmap for genuine reform in the human rights scene in Bahrain. The GoB interpretation of the reforms proposed by the BICI was narrow, and its measures were shallow and cosmetic."

Fully implementing only one recommendation out of the 26 in a decade raises questions about the purpose of the BICI establishment. While creating the BICI was a bold step by the GoB, the subsequent shallow reforms and lack of seriousness in carrying out substantial changes indicate the absence of political will on the part of the government to truly address the human rights situation.

The center concluded its report by saying that "The GoB has so far demonstrated unwillingness to rectify the current situation and initiate a comprehensive national dialogue that turns the page on a decade of turmoil in the country. The government's recent targeting of three BCHR members by Pegasus spyware is indicative of this lack of will and the GoB's unchanged behavior towards dissidents and critics."

Arabic Version