Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Human rights violations in Bahrain

Delivered in Plenary - 15th March 2012

Madam President

Last month marked the anniversary of the peaceful popular movement calling for respect for fundamental human rights and democratic reforms in Bahrain. There was evidence of disproportionate use of force by the security forces to crack down on protestors, and then came the controversial arrival of Gulf Cooperation Council troops. However, the government, led by the King, has listened to the international community and engaged in meaningful dialogue with the protestors and their groupings, and also with the Shia majority parties, and has established an independent commission of inquiry, as well as proposing constitutional amendments to address all these concerns.

The setting up of a Ministry for Human Rights and Social Development is also a step in the right direction to make sure that basic civil rights are being restored; that Ministry will uphold the highest international human rights standards.

The ECR Group calls upon the Bahraini authorities to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, but also to allow entry into Bahrain for foreign journalists and international human rights organisations so that the criminal investigations which are now under way, and indeed are already taking place, can be observed by outsiders, and that the implementation of the announced reforms, which I welcome, will be monitored by independent observers.