November 23, 2011

Kerry on Bahrain's Bassiouni Commission Report

Kerry on Bahrain's Bassiouni Commission Report

Washington, DC-- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) today issued the following statement upon the release of the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.

“The release of the Bassiouni Commission report is an important moment for Bahrain. This year’s events were highly traumatic. Emotions are still raw and many people continue to suffer.  Citizen participation in the process has been vital to ensuring a full accounting. The report is comprehensive, and there are sure to be elements that both the government and the opposition will disagree with. Regardless, the report provides a common document for both sides to carefully study, and use as a guide for conflict transformation and constructive dialogue.

“In my discussions with Bahraini officials this year, they have expressed a desire to move their country forward and a willingness to act on the Commission’s recommendations. The government of Bahrain did the right thing by appointing the commission, but what’s important now will be accountability for the grave human rights abuses that have occurred, irreversible reforms, and enforcement. I urge the government of Bahrain to move quickly and transparently to enact the recommendations, and begin reversing the societal damage caused.

“Political reform in Bahrain will not come easily, but it is critical for the healing process. For decades, Bahrain has been an important partner to the United States, and I hope that by implementing the Bassiouni report’s recommendations, Bahrainis will feel their cases have been heard and their grievances validated, and the whole country can move closer to genuine political reconciliation.”

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