Truth & Reconciliation

21 Jun, '07

Bahraini king meeting human rights societies

News reports out today suggest that the king has given his blessing to convening a Truth and Reconciliation Workshop by human rights societies in Bahrain which was previously blocked by authorities, with several provisos;

  1. Don’t involve foreigners
  2. The reconciliation is deemed to have already taken place by the inculcation of laws 10 of 2001 and 56 of 2002 which provided a general amnesty and allowed the expelled to return home
  3. The Complaints & Grievances office’s door has always been open through which issues are resolved and brought to the attention of his majesty

In a reaction to the meeting, the human rights activist Abdulla Al-Durazi said:

من جهته أكد نائب الأمين العام للجمعية البحرينية لحقوق الإنسان عبدالله الدرازي دعم عاهل البلاد لجهود الجمعية البحرينية لحقوق الإنسان في عقد ورشة (مشروع الحقيقة والإنصاف والمصالحة في البحرين)’’، لافتاً إلى ‘’مباركة الملك لتشكيل لجنة وطنية للإنصاف’’. وقال الدرازي بعيد لقاء عاهل البلاد بأعضاء جمعيتي البحرين لحقوق الإنسان وجمعية البحرين لمراقبة حقوق الإنسان ‘’عرضنا على الملك تشكيل لجنة لإنصاف ضحايا الحقبة السابقة تشكل بأمر منه، لكنه أشار إلى ان المصالحة قد تمت، ولكن ذلك لا يمنع ان تتشكل اللجنة وان تعملوا فيها معتمدين في ذلك على الخبرات التي تتمتعون بها’’.

The Deputy Secretary General of the Bahrain Human Rights Society Abdulla Al-Durazi asserted the monarch’s support for the efforts of the Bahraini human rights societies in convening the Truth, Redress and Reconciliation Workshop in Bahrain, pointing out the king’s blessings for the formation of a national committee for redress. Al-Durazi said shortly after the king’s meeting with the Bahrain Human Rights and the Bahrain Human Rights Watch Societies that we suggested that the king would give his order to form a Committee of Redress of victims of the previous era, but he declined and said that redressed has already been effected, but there is no objection to the formation of such a committee which should only utilise Bahraini expertise.

This is progress. Hesitant and half hearted as it may seem, but progress none-the-less. We can now start building proper truth and reconciliation mechanisms in order to bring justice to those who suffered for over 80 years in this country and with that we can truly turn the page and start working on integrating this society and remove the sectarian thinking which has ripped the community apart.

Filed in: Human RightsPolitics
Tagged with:

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Silver says:

    we heard a lot of talk before but no action!!
    lets see if its diffrent this time

  2. captain Arab says:

    We have to start somewhere, and since H.M. The King has or will action such a decree, this is a clear indication to move forward. Let hope that we utilize this decree wisely and not jump to conclusions, and rather than end up with the answers we are looking for, we don’t want to end up with a new set of problems. Like they say, what’s done is done, and nothing will change that… Some things are better left unsaid.. and don’t expect anybody is be punished.

  3. BB says:

    I’m more concerned with the logistics and the parties involved. For there to be any from of truth and reconciliation, the voice of ALL the victims must be heard. I am wary of just blank compensation cheques being handed out as another makrama. In South Africa hours of television time was dedicated to the special TRC courts where victims came forward to speak of their ordeals. Is the King really willing to listen if he things that the whole process ended in 2002? Lets see what comes out of this.

  4. F says:

    Past mistakes should not be repeated.

  5. Isa Bin Tarif says:

    The time for little baby steps towards reconciliation is over. There is nothing in his statement which is new. So there is no reason he should be trusted, only to be cheated yet again.

    It is clear that he wants to co-opt and pacify the movement for torture victims. Especially look at point number 3 of his conditions:

    “The Complaints & Grievances office’s door has always been open through which issues are resolved and brought to the attention of his majesty”.

    The fact of the matter is that his offices door have not been open. When ordinary people tried to submit a mass petition calling for Law 56 to be scrapped, he refused to receive it!

    Just look at the photo in this post of his majlis. All of the people obediently listening as His Majesty sits telling everyone what they can and can not do. Is this reconciliation??!

    This is NOT progress. It is a facade that we have seen so many times before.

  6. exclamation mark says:

    So whats the new trick ?!

    7arakaaat !!! :mrgreen:

  7. Shurouq says:

    I can use every and any uplifting piece of news these day. Thank you Mahmood.

    I had no idea Nasser al Yousef was your father! I’m slow like that.
    A friend introduced me to your late father’s work when he caught me reading Muhammed al Fayez’s poems back in high school. Your dad is one of many reasons why I love Bahrain.
    Please accept my late condolences to you and your family. And pass my thanks to your brother for the priceless site.

    I like your new lively banner. 🙂

  8. mahmood says:

    It’s my honour Shurouq! And I’ll certainly convey your regards to Jamal.

    Thank you very much for your kind words. We’re actually planning a book to showcase some of his work which I hope to be published in 2008.

  9. Salman says:

    I believe this is not the 1st time the “King” makes these meetings. He says the same things every time, but what he says is never applied. He promised freedom of speech starting with the National Charter. How many people have been put behind bars for voicing their opinions?

    I swear, i have never seen hypocracy to this level.

Back to Top