Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bahrain: Bahrain's King Welcomes National Commission Progress Report, Says "Important Strides" Have Been Made

SOURCE Kingdom of Bahrain

Today, Bahrain's National Commission, charged with implementing the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry's (BICI) recommendations, submitted a progress report to His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, who praised the report as an "impressive beginning" to "positive change."

"It represents a part of our history of which we can all be proud. Its recommendations were broad," His Majesty the King said. "To implement them has been a great and worthy challenge."

Addressing the crowd at the submission ceremony, King Hamad thanked the government and National Commission members for their exhaustive efforts to quickly implement the recommended reforms.

"You studied the report carefully and consulted with international experts, including Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni and Sir Daniel Bethlehem, to ensure optimum compliance with international standards. We thank you deeply and appreciate your sincere, patriotic efforts," he said.

The report detailed progress made in security sector reform, judicial reform and due process, social policy, education and media, and accounting for past actions and reconciliation. Highlights include: a new police code of conduct, the transfer of investigations into deaths and mistreatment to the public prosecutor and an independent body, speedy compensation for those affected by the unrest, reformed media policies and the construction of places of worship and reinstatement of all public sector workers.

HM King Hamad encouraged Bahraini parliamentarians to continue the momentum and pass proposed legislation.

"Such speed of delivery and such quality of work is what we must demand from all government's work, not just in the implementation of the recommendations. We hope that the legislative authorities, for their part, expedite the adoption of related draft laws which were referred to them by the government," he said.

Beyond the immediate BICI recommendations, Bahrain is dedicated to all reform that benefits its citizens and the welfare of its country, His Majesty the King said.

"The implementation of the recommendations reflects Bahrain's commitment to reform in various fields," His Majesty said. "Reform is an on-going process. Development is the path of life."