The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) will release it’s report tomorrow. It’s been an agonising few months for me! To be honest, it’s the only glimmer of hope I see for this tiny but very troubled kingdom.
There a few points I want to emphasise about this report. First, it proves to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that His Majesty King Hamad is sincere in wanting the truth to be revealed. The Bahrain crisis was (and still is) a convoluted mess wrapped in misinformation, exaggerations, lies and cover-ups. We need a third party to help separate fact from fiction.
Second, the commission is independent. Sadly, the extreme elements of the anti-government crowd have been dismissing the Commission from Day One, which does not help Bahrain. The members are highly reputable people who cannot be bought. So shame on you who have condemned before the report is even released. So much for democracy and freedom of speech.
Lastly, I think the report will reveal serious short-comings by our government. Personally, I think there have been abuses by both sides, but certainly the larger onus falls on the government. It will show us whether the abuses have been systematic or done by individuals, as the government currently claims.
The government must now show it’s seriousness in wanting reform – and actually reform. If it does not, then the nightly road blocks, trash/tire burning and protests will only get worse, dragging Bahrain into a menacing black hole. I sincerely hope the political will exists to make the necessary, painful changes. Number One on the list should be a drive to eradicate corruption.
Furthermore, the government must sit with the opposition face-to-face to solve the crisis and learn to listen. True, the opposition snubbed HRH The Crown Prince’s dialogue offer, but that was a mistake, and the government must be willing to forgive and overlook this. Just as it will want the protestors to forgive and overlook it’s likely many transgressions.
I can’t wait – less than 24 hours to go!
I will write again soon, after I’ve read and digested the report.
Bye for now.