We are deeply worried and concerned at the latest developments regarding the Bahrain Independent Commission Inquiry.
This was a commission that promised much for the people of Bahrain and provided a chance to finally get some justice for the long suffering they have received.
But the commission has now descended into chaos with misinformation being spread on both sides. Yesterday a number of comments were attributed to the Head of the Commission, Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, which we are pleased to say he has since refuted.
However, the attempt to twist his words by various outlets, including the state newspaper Al Ayam, is a clear indication of the governments attempt to spin any findings of the commission into propaganda.
The result of this was a number of angry people demonstrating to the Commission’s headquarters, many having felt that Mr Bassiouni had denied the existence of human rights abuses inside Bahrain.
Understandably, many people felt personally disrespected and frustrated that the commission was ignoring their testimonies and opinions. The latest statement from the commission proves otherwise and of course we continue to encourage people, in the strongest possible way, to approach the committee with their experiences.
We wholeheartedly condemn the violence that occurred inside the commission yesterday. Whilst we have sympathy with the frustrations and confusion of many people, there can be no justification for the sort of actions that the Commission have said took place yesterday.
We also hope that the Government will not attempt to use the actions of a small minority to characterise the opposition as a whole. As all of our demonstrations have continually shown, we are a peaceful opposition who do not believe in violence as a strategy for change.
Furthermore we hope that the commission will not be put off course from doing their job with integrity, as a result of the events of yesterday.
We hope that the commission will continue to do the much-needed job they are doing, free from government interference and propaganda.
We ask all of our supporters to cooperate with the commission and despite the difficulties, to place confidence that the commission is seeking the truth.
Resigned Bahraini MP Ali Al Aswad said,
“The actions of a small minority inside the commission were unacceptable and we call for restraint and calm. However, such actions are a direct result of the frustrations of the Bahraini people, who have put so much hope into this commission.”