Monday, May 23, 2005
- There's just something about a guy who can kick a ball about well that makes a girl tick. This kid is called Soufiane Touzani.
- The opposition has come up with a practical suggestion for proportional representation as outlined in the diagram below. Each voter has 3 votes, for local, county and national representatives. They'll pass it onto the King, I hope he likes diagrams and colours.
- The United Nation's Committee Against Torture in Geneva concludes its 34th session with the following recommendations to the Bahraini government:
"The Committee was concerned about the persistent gap between the legislative framework and its practical implementation with regard to the obligations of the Convention; the lack of a comprehensive definition of torture in the domestic law as set out in article 1 of the Convention; the large number of allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees committed prior to 2001; the apparent failure to investigate promptly, impartially and fully the numerous allegations of torture and ill-treatment and to prosecute alleged offenders; the inadequate availability in practice of civil compensation for victims of torture prior to 2001; lack of access by independent monitors to visit and inspect places of detention without prior notice; and the rejection of the House of Deputies in March 2005 of the establishment of an independent National Human Rights Commission.
The Committee recommended, among other things, that Bahrain adopt in its domestic penal law a definition of torture in terms consistent with article 1 of the Convention; respect the absolute nature of article 3 in all circumstances and fully incorporate it into domestic law; consider steps to amend Decree 56 of 2002 to ensure there was no impunity to officials who had perpetrated or acquiesced in torture or other cruel and inhuman or degrading punishment; ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism, including the draft law, be in accordance with Security Council resolutions; fully ensure the independence of the judiciary; and consider adopting a Family Code including measures to prevent and punish violence against women."
- Since Chan'ad and I have been nominated for Freedom Blog Awards, there is an interview with us in the Italian Peace Reporter. Chan'ad is obviously way too modest to publicize himself in this way so i'll do it for both of us shamelessly! I never realized that the whole thing would be published UNCUT, but I thank Naoki in taking interest in publicizing Bahraini bloggers.
The local press seemed to have totally overlooked these recommendations, and concentrated on the ceremonial praise that such reports begin with on the King's reform initiative. I'm not sure how binding these recommendations are, but it constitutes further international pressure on the regime to reform.