HRW report proves Manama regime dysfunctional: Analyst

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) report about rights violations by the Bahraini regime is a proof of Manama’s dysfunctional nature, a political analyst tells Press TV.

“I think this document is very, very damning to the regime because if a regime cannot maintain justice, cannot uphold justice, then there is no purpose for it to remain,” said Saeed Shehabi, with the Bahrain Freedom Movement, in a Friday interview.

“This document has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the regime of the Al Khalifa cannot function as a system, as a political regime that maintains justice,” he added.

The analyst expressed optimism that the new HRW document will reveal the realities in Bahrain against the backdrop of the Western media silence over crimes committed by the Al Khalifa.

In its latest report on Bahrain, Human Rights Watch on Wednesday lashed out at the Manama regime’s justice system, describing it as “criminal” and censuring its “failure to deliver basic accountability and impartial justice.”

The 64-page report titled, “Criminalizing Dissent, Entrenching Impunity: Persistent Failures of the Bahraini Justice System since the BICI Report,” found that more than two years after King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa accepted the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) to free peaceful dissenters and hold abusive officials accountable, the courts in the kingdom continue to play a key role in maintaining the regime’s highly repressive political order.

The report further blames Bahraini courts for routinely sentencing peaceful protesters to long prison terms. However, it said “members of security forces are rarely prosecuted for unlawful killings, including in detention, and the few convictions have carried extremely light sentences.”

The BICI report, which HRW describes as the work of five respected international jurists, found that security forces were responsible for more than a dozen unlawful killings and routine excessive use of force in suppressing pro-democracy protests in February through April 2011.

It also found that detainees were subjected to “a deliberate practice of mistreatment” that led to at least five deaths in detention.

Human Rights Watch further criticized Bahrain’s Western allies for failing to press Manama to stop rights violations.

The organization says its report is based on written verdicts and other court documents.


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