7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Probe panel report 'one-sided'

TWO top politicians yesterday hit out at the findings of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) calling it a "one-sided" report.

Al Asala bloc MP Adel Al Ma'awada claimed the commission ignored the impact the unrest had on some sections of society.

"This report is clearly one-sided and highlights mistakes by the government," he said.

"It calls for amendment to legislations and at the same time spread lies that Iran had no role in the unrest."

He was speaking after the launch of the report at the Sakhir Palace, Zallaq.

Mr Al Ma'awada said the publication would not end road blockades or attacks against civilians and policemen instigated by anti-government protesters.

"The fact of the matter, or shall I say reality, is that people on the streets only follow secret orders from Iran," Mr Al Ma'awada said.

Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-chairman Abdulhameed Al Kooheji said it was too early to jump to conclusions before the 501-page report had been thoroughly reviewed.

"There is no doubt the report is highly critical of the government, but we need to dig more to see if it is truly one-sided," he said.

"We can't judge at this moment and, like I said, need to study all the recommendations to get a clear picture."

However, Mr Al Kooheji said his first impression of the report had been "depressing".

Former British Labour MP Ken Purchase, who attended the ceremony, said the report sent a strong message to ministers and government officials to pull up their socks.

"The ministers should take responsibility and parliament has now more power to hold them accountable," he said.

"It is important that such situation does not arise again in the kingdom."

Meanwhile, National Unity Assembly chairman Dr Abdullatif Al Mahmoud blamed the process followed by the commission for the shortcomings in the report. "The assignment given to the delegation was just to record human rights violations between February and March, which didn't even begin to cover the unrest Bahrain faced and still is facing," he told the GDN on the sidelines of the ceremony.

"If it was assigned to inquire on the unrest and how it affected society as a whole, then the report would have yielded different results."

Dr Al Mahmoud said incidents like the BICI's headquarters being attacked, continuous protests and escalating violence were all major events that are missing in the report.

"This is so because the report just focused on two months, which is one of its shortcomings," he said.

"It also spoke of human rights violations that would occur in a normal situation, which was not the case in Bahrain as what we went through in terms of protests and violence was far from normal."

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