Bahrain: Regime, Human Rights Groups Anticipate BICI Report
The Bahraini Cabinet circulated a press release in preparation for the November 23 release of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry’s (BICI) report. The statement reads, “All the while BICI has carried out its work, the Government has carried out its own assessments and conducted its own investigations. These investigations have revealed things to praise as well as things to deplore. Regrettably, there have been instances of excessive force and mistreatment of detainees. This was in violation of government policy. 20 prosecutions against the officers involved have been initiated. This is in no way the limit of the steps that will be taken.”
The statement also assured readers that “the Government does not seek to excuse any wrongdoing. The BICI has stated publicly that it has investigated the instances of mistreatment. We can expect that its report will be very critical of these occurrences and the Government’s responsibility for failing to prevent them. The Government expects such criticism. We cannot condone mistreatment and abuses by our officials. There will be no impunity. All those responsible for abuses will be held accountable.” Furthermore, the government listed two steps it has taken to “address and remedy injustice” in Bahrain, including the establishment of a Special Fund for Victims and the National Dialogue.
Meanwhile, Bahraini human rights groups will release their own “massive report documenting all violations committed by the Bahrain regime since February 14th” on November 22, as “none of the local independent human rights organizations were invited to the BICI launch ceremony on the 23rd.”