12th Nov, 2012 –

Implementation of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry recommendations:

“There are measures which have been implemented and others awaiting implementation. We understand the concerns that some have expressed regarding the time that has been required for fully implementing these reforms.

“However, we also understand that important reforms will take a long time. For example, there are recommendations related to changing behaviour and culture. This is not a process that can be completed overnight. The United Kingdom, as a close friend of Bahrain with long-standing ties is fully ready to provide support and assistance to move forward in implementing the measures associated with the recommendations from the [BICI] report. We provided support in the justice sector and are looking to provide further assistance in the area of human rights.”

Decision to withdraw Bahraini nationality from 31 individuals:

“This is a matter for the Bahraini authorities; it is none of the British Government’s business. In general, it is possible to withdraw British citizenship when it is found that it has been fraudulently obtained, or when the behaviour of that individual does not serve the general good. It is also possible to withdraw British citizenship over matters of national security.”

Terrorist bomb attacks in Manama:

“[The Foreign Office] severely condemned the planting of explosive devices which led to the killing of two expatriates and the injury of a third individual…. All sides should condemn violence unequivocally…

“I hope that such horrific acts prove to people that time isn’t on Bahrain’s side. A year and a half has passed since last year’s events… I believe that this greater momentum for the need to achieve progress as soon as possible. This horrific incident which Bahrain witnessed last Sunday has terrible consequences. We hope that this will cause people to realize the importance of engaging in political dialogue urgently. Likewise, political societies should condemn the violence without and equivocation or justifications.”

Rejection of violence by the opposition and return to National Dialogue

“We continue to encourage all sides to reject and denounce violence and to enter political discussion without preconditions.”

British counter-terrorism assistance:

“We are working closely with the Bahraini authorities on a number of security and counter-terrorism issues. We are naturally concerned by the violence and thus there is a partnership between Bahrain and the UK to this end. For example, when an explosives factory was discovered this June the Bahraini Government requested help. We sent a legal team from Scotland Yard to help in the investigation. Also regarding the recent incidents we are certainly in very close engagement with the Bahraini security authorities.”

British assistance for the Bahraini justice sector:

“This March there was a project for two weeks in Nottingham for judges, prosecutors and human rights officials concerning UN human rights legislation. European partners (Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland) also arranged various training courses… Britain welcomes this and hope that we can host further training courses in the future. At the beginning of next year we are organizing a visit for a British NGO which specializes in legal issues called the Bingham Centre, as well as the Bar Association, which represents lawyers interests, will be visiting Bahrain to discuss assistance in drafting freedom of expression legislation.”

Human rights reforms:

“[Britain] welcomed the steps taken by Bahrain concerning the Comprehensive Periodic Review for Human Rights in Geneva [the UN Human Rights Council]. We also welcomed  Bahrain’s acceptance of 145 recommendations from the international community, as well as partial acceptance of 13 other recommendations.”

Returning 98% of fired Bahrainis back to work:    

“We believe that Bahrain should be given the opportunity to be heard by the international community on this issue. Particularly as 98% of those workers returned to their jobs. We hope that the remaining matters can be resolved with the same spirit of cooperation as this issue.”

Inaccurate reporting by the British media:

“We encourage the Bahraini Government to engage with the British media in order that events in Bahrain are covered correctly. This isn’t just for Bahraini officials: We encourage all elements of Bahraini civil society to engage with the British media if they see that the British media fails to reflect their viewpoints, and fails to reflect the Bahraini situation accurately.”

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