Window-dressing or pioneers of change?
Bahrain today remains marked by the consequences of the government’s ruthless suppression of mass proreform demonstrations in February and March 2011, when security forces killed at least 30 peaceful protesters and detained and tortured dozens of others with impunity.
The government’s actions, at the height of the uprising, provoked an international outcry. In response, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa established in June 2011 the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which was composed of international jurists and human rights specialists and proceeded to investigate and report on unlawful killings, torture and other human rights violations by the security forces. The King accepted the BICI’s findings, issued on 23 November 2011, and committed the government to full implementation of its recommendations, earning wide international praise.