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The situation in Bahrain

Written declaration No. 507 | Doc. 12852 | 25 January 2012

Mr Patrick MORIAU, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Marie BOCKEL, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Mevlüt ÇAVUŞOĞLU, Turkey, EDG ; Mr Agustín CONDE, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Gianni FARINA, Italy, SOC ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Ms Susanna HUOVINEN, Finland, SOC ; Mr Tadeusz IWIŃSKI, Poland, SOC ; Mr Jacques LEGENDRE, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Philippe MAHOUX, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Pietro MARCENARO, Italy, SOC ; Mr Edgar MAYER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Ms Nursuna MEMECAN, Turkey, ALDE ; Mr Pasquale NESSA, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Fritz NEUGEBAUER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr Yanaki STOILOV, Bulgaria, SOC ; Mr Elkhan SULEYMANOV, Azerbaijan, EPP/CD ; Mr Stefaan VERCAMER, Belgium, EPP/CD

Since Bahrain’s independence in 1971, the country has made considerable progress with regard to the construction of democratic institutions. This evolution has been acknowledged by all observers.

The National Charter, for instance, represents a unique achievement in the region.

However, during the months of February and March 2011, protest movements have occurred and provoked violence and repressions.

The Bahraini authorities, on the initiative of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, have launched a dialogue process that was boycotted by the opposition. An independent inquiry committee has been set up, under the direction of Professor Cherif Bassiani (former President of the Commission of Inquiry on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia), which is composed of eminent personalities.

Moreover, the influence of different border or neighborhood states of Bahrain must not be underestimated and the instability in the region can have dangerous consequences.

Therefore, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should:

  • encourage the authorities and all those who strive for democratic dialogue in Bahrain
  • call on the Bahraini authorities to make active use of the experience of the Venice commission and to join the Venice Commission
  • examine co-operation opportunities with the organs of the Council of Europe and its institutions.