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27-03-2012 - Gulfnews

Appointed minister to sift through report on Bahrain unrest

Bahrain said that it would soon appoint a minister with a support team to follow up and ensure that "steps taken so far and those that will be taken meet the words and spirit" of recommendations set out in an independent fact-finding report.

The government attributed the decision to "delivering to the people the benefits of the changes that have been put in place."

"Compensation schemes that have been put in place must deliver redress quickly, the newly established accountability mechanisms must deliver justice, and it is important to monitor that the more long term goals enshrined in the media, reconciliation and education plans are fully realized," the government said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

Bahrain has introduced a wide range of changes recommended by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), the commission set up to investigate the events that hit the kingdom in February and March and their consequences. A report published in November by the commission following four months of investigations by international experts headed by Professor Cherif Bassiouni identified responsibilities and set out a list of recommendations to take practices in several ministries and agencies to international standards.

Bahrain accepted the searing report and King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa called "to ensure that the painful events our beloved nation has just experienced are not repeated" and to "learn from them and use our new insights as a catalyst for positive change."

The king set up a 19-member national commission to follow up the implementation of the recommendations and received its report on Tuesday.

"We will also study carefully the report of the National Commission on Implementation, and will take that assessment of our effort into account in our ongoing work," a government official said in a statement.

"The government feels a deep sense of humility at these achievements in the service of our Country and King. There is no higher duty of state than to secure to each person their freedom, dignity and respect. We will continue to do all that we can to remain responsive to the needs and aspirations of all of our people. Although a lot of good work has been done on implementation, the momentum must not and cannot stop."

The government called on all Bahrainis "to unite behind these reform efforts to continue to build a more prosperous society with brotherhood, harmony and tolerance at its heart."


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