In 2012, the authorities in Bahrain showed little if any readiness to engage with the political opposition and civil society in order to find a fair and sustainable solution to socio-political and socio-economic challenges facing the nation. If anything, officials intensified their repression of the democratic wishes expressed by a sizable number of people in February 2011. Sadly, by shunning repeated calls for face to face roundtable negotiations, officials have only succeeded in harming the country's potential, reputation and ranking in international economic, political and social development indices. This report focuses on the costs to the country's performance on various indicators as well as to the likelihood of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Professor Cherif Bassiouni,
chairperson of the BICI, handed
the report to the Bahraini regime
a year ago. (Photo: BNA)

“Bahrain stands still with its record of grave human rights violations” in spite of the warnings issued almost 365 days ago by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) appointed by the regime itself, stated twelve national, regional and global civil society organizations and networks, among them the Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS), Social Watch, the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) and the Egyptian Association for the Enhancement of Civic Participation (EACPE).

Nabeel Rajab (Photo: BCHR)

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), deplored the Bahrain Appeals Court’s refusal to refer a petition for preliminary ruling on the legality of the law prohibiting demonstrations in Bahrain and to release Nabeel Rajab, who has been arbitrarily detained since July 9.

Photo: Bahrain Center for
Human Rights

The Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) called on the regime to “repair the tense political situation” created when it imposed a ban on public demonstrations and gatherings. “Day after another the Bahraini authorities prove their avoidance from the obligations placed on them following the ratification of the international covenants on human rights,” warned the organization in a statement.

Nabeel Rajab. (Photo: Avaaz)

The regime of Bahrain accepted completely 145 recommendations and 13 partially out of the 176 submitted by other States to the UN Human Rights Council last May, as a result of the sustained efforts made by local and international civil society organizations at the session of the organ that is taking place in Geneva. But the Bahraini Human Rights Observatory warned that implementing the suggestions will require “international monitoring”.

Nabeel Rajab. (Photo: Avaaz)

A petition was launched at the Avaaz web site to call on the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Nations to demand the dropping of all the politically motivated charges against activist Nabeel Rajab and his immediate release from prison in Bahrain.

Arrest of Nabeel Rajab and
other activists on February.
(Photo: BCHR)

Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR, focal point of Social Watch) and Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), was sentenced last week by the Bahraini Lower Criminal Court to three years imprisonment for "involvement in illegal practices and inciting gatherings and calling for unauthorized marches through social networking sites”, for his "participation in an illegal assembly" and for his “participation in an illegal gathering and calling for a march without prior notification”.

Arrest of Nabeel Rajab and other
activists on February.
(Photo: BCHR)

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) stated this week its grave concern about the arrest of its deputy secretary general, Nabeel Rajab, and the continuing targeting of activists in Bahrain. On May 5th, Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), was arrested after arriving at Manama airport from Lebanon and is currently detained in Al Hawra police station.

Abdullah Al-Deerezi.

Human rights activists welcomed this week a decision by Bahrain's highest court to order a retrial in the case of 21 men accused of “trying to overthrow the monarchy” and “having links to a foreign terrorist organization”.

In terms of gender equity Bahrain is above the Middle East and North African average, and far over its neighbour Saudi Arabia, although in worst situation than its other neighbour Qatar.



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