US optimistic about Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report and reform implementations


MANAMA, Bahrain – Yesterday, Deputy U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs Stephen Seche welcomed the upcoming report from the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) in addition to forthcoming National Dialogue implementations.

“This is a positive development and we believe that the Commission’s findings will reflect a process which has been thorough and comprehensive and very professional,” he said. “We will look forward to the recommendations.”

Speaking of the commission’s investigation procedure, Seche expressed confidence in the steps taken: “We have been encouraged by the process that has ensued here since the Commission first arrived in Bahrain. They have been very thorough and [Commission Chair] Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni has spoken publicly about the response. He has been encouraged by the receptivity of all aspects of the Bahraini government to probe into the different questions, their need to get to as much information in the time they had.”

If necessary, the U.S. will help Bahrain implement recommendations from the National Dialogue and the BICI report once finalized, Seche said.

“The commission report should be seen as an opportunity to build bridges between all the parties. It is an opportunity that people should take advantage of it. It is easy to nit-pick at the report,” he concluded.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry—lead by international criminal, human rights and humanitarian law authority Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni—is investigating events surrounding this year’s unrest in Bahrain. The commission’s narrative of events and recommended government actions will be published October 30.