Royal Order No.28 of 2011, Establishing an Independent Commission to Investigate and Report on the Events Which Occurred in Bahrain in February/March 2011

Country/entity
Bahrain
Region
Middle East and North Africa
Agreement name
Royal Order No.28 of 2011, Establishing an Independent Commission to Investigate and Report on the Events Which Occurred in Bahrain in February/March 2011
Date
29/06/2011
Agreement status
Unilateral document
Interim arrangement
No
Agreement/conflict level
Intrastate/intrastate conflict (Bahraini Uprising (2011 - )
Following uprisings across the MENA region in early 2011, protests ensued on February 14, 2011, aimed at generating social reforms and greater social equality for Bahrain's Shi'a majority. Following the deaths of two protesters in the first two days, a sit-in was held at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama on February. The next morning, security forces stormed the camp, killing 4 protesters, marking a turning point in the conflict. Protests picked up momentum and by April 2012, over 80 protesters and security forces had been killed in violence from both sides. In December 2013, there were impromptu 183 protests alone. Sectarian tensions are further heightened by the recruitment of Sunni Muslims into the National Army from abroad, and the deployment of soldiers from the predominantly Sunni GCC Joint Shield Force. There is also an indication of state-sponsored systematic destruction of Shi'a mosques across Bahrain following the protests.

On July 2, 2011, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa instigated the Bahrain National Dialogue as a means to promote reconciliation between the government and Bahrainis. 300 participants were involved with 37% representation dedicated for political organisations, 36% for CSOs, 21% for opinion leaders and 6% for media representation. Opposition parties were only granted 5 seats, and there was much criticism of the un-balanced nature of the National Dialogue. The National Dialogues were suspended by January 2014. Parliamentary Elections later that year boycotted and dismissed by the Shia opposition as a farce, followed by the arrest of the opposition(Al-Wefaq) leader Sheikh Ali Salman, ensuing into protests and clashes between his supporters and security forces. Systemic harassment and prosecution of Shias continue.
Bahraini Uprising (2011 - ) )
Stage
Framework/substantive - partial (Core issue)
Conflict nature
Government
Peace process
10: Bahrain: Reform-based peace process
Parties
Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa
Third parties
Description
A royal decree creating an independent commission consisting of experts to analyze the events of Feb/Mar 2011 in Bahrain and make recommendations.

Agreement document
BH_110629_Royal Order No. 28 of 2011.pdf []

Groups

Children/youth
No specific mention.
Disabled persons
No specific mention.
Elderly/age
No specific mention.
Migrant workers
No specific mention.
Racial/ethnic/national group
No specific mention.
Religious groups
Substantive
Page 2, Article Nine.
The Commission’s final report, to be submitted to His Majesty no later than 30 October 2011, shall be made public in its entirety. The Commission’s report shall contain, inter alia, the following:
... 9) Examination of alleged unlawful demolition of religious structures.
Indigenous people
No specific mention.
Other groups
No specific mention.
Refugees/displaced persons
No specific mention.
Social class
No specific mention.

Gender

Women, girls and gender
Page 2, Article Two.
The Commission consists of five eminent and internationally- renowned members, whose experience and reputation worldwide is well established. They are:
...
- Dr. Badria Al-Awadhi (member).
Men and boys
No specific mention.
LGBTI
No specific mention.
Family
Page 1, Article Seven.
The Commission shall have the authority to decide on all matters concerning the scope of its work and its methods of operation. The government shall ensure that no person or member of that person’s family who has made contact with the Commission or cooperated with the Commission shall in any way be penalized, negatively affected or in any way harassed or embarrassed by any public official or representative of the government.

State definition

State definition
No specific mention.

Governance

Political institutions (new or reformed)
No specific mention.
Constitution's affirmation/renewal
No specific mention.
Constitutional reform/making
No specific mention.
Elections
No specific mention.
Electoral commission
No specific mention.
Political parties reform
No specific mention.
Civil society
Page 1, Article Four.
The Commission’s mandate is to engage in fact finding and it has access to all concerned government agencies, government officials, government files and records. It is also free to meet with any person it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, representatives of civil society, human rights organizations, political groups, labor unions, and alleged victims and witnesses of alleged violations of internationally protected human rights. All relevant governmental departments shall put at the disposal of the Commission the results of their own inquiries into the above matters.
Traditional/religious leaders
No specific mention.
Public administration
No specific mention.

Power sharing

Political power sharing
No specific mention.
Territorial power sharing
No specific mention.
Economic power sharing
No specific mention.
Military power sharing
No specific mention.

Human rights and equality

Human rights/RoL
Page 1, Article Four.
The Commission’s mandate is to engage in fact finding and it has access to all concerned government agencies, government officials, government files and records. It is also free to meet with any person it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, representatives of civil society, human rights organizations, political groups, labor unions, and alleged victims and witnesses of alleged violations of internationally protected human rights. All relevant governmental departments shall put at the disposal of the Commission the results of their own inquiries into the above matters.

Page 1, Article Nine.
The Commission’s final report, to be submitted to His Majesty no later than 30 October 2011, shall be made public in its entirety. The Commission’s report shall contain, inter alia, the following:
... 3) Whether during these events there have been violations of international human rights norms by any participants during the events or in the interaction between the public and the government.
Equality
No specific mention.
Democracy
No specific mention.
Protection measures
No specific mention.
Human rights framework
Treaty incorporation
Page 2, Article Eleven.
The Commission may utilize such staff as it deems necessary to complete its work, and may determine the locations and facilities in which it will operate, which shall be under its full control. The Commission’s Chair will propose the budget necessary for the Commission to fulfill its mandate, which budget shall be provided from the funds of the Royal Court. The expenses and compensation of the Commissioners shall be in accordance with United Nations standards and shall be disclosed in the final report.
Civil and political rights
No specific mention.
Socio-economic rights
No specific mention.
NHRI
No specific mention.
Regional or international human rights institutions
No specific mention.
Mobility/access
No specific mention.
Detention procedures
No specific mention.
Media and communication
Other
Page 2, Article Nine.
The Commission’s final report, to be submitted to His Majesty no later than 30 October 2011, shall be made public in its entirety. The Commission’s report shall contain, inter alia, the following:
8) Ascertain whether there was any media harassment, whether audiovisual or written, against participants in demonstrations and public protests.
Citizenship
No specific mention.

Justice sector reform

Criminal justice and emergency law
No specific mention.
State of emergency provisions
No specific mention.
Judiciary and courts
No specific mention.
Prisons and detention
No specific mention.
Traditional Laws
No specific mention.

Socio-economic reconstruction

Development or socio-economic reconstruction
No specific mention.
National economic plan
No specific mention.
Natural resources
No specific mention.
International funds
No specific mention.
Business
No specific mention.
Taxation
No specific mention.
Banks
No specific mention.

Land, property and environment

Land reform/rights
No specific mention.
Pastoralist/nomadism rights
No specific mention.
Cultural heritage
No specific mention.
Environment
No specific mention.
Water or riparian rights or access
No specific mention.

Security sector

Security Guarantees
Page 2, Article Nine.
The Commission’s final report, to be submitted to His Majesty no later than 30 October 2011, shall be made public in its entirety. The Commission’s report shall contain, inter alia, the following:
... 10) Ascertain any involvement of foreign forces and foreign actors in the events.
Ceasefire
No specific mention.
Police
Page 2, Article Nine.
The Commission’s final report, to be submitted to His Majesty no later than 30 October 2011, shall be made public in its entirety. The Commission’s report shall contain, inter alia, the following:
... 5) Instances of alleged police brutality and alleged violence by protestors and/or demonstrators against police and others, including foreigners.
Armed forces
No specific mention.
DDR
No specific mention.
Intelligence services
No specific mention.
Parastatal/rebel and opposition group forces
No specific mention.
Withdrawal of foreign forces
No specific mention.
Corruption
No specific mention.
Crime/organised crime
No specific mention.
Drugs
No specific mention.
Terrorism
No specific mention.

Transitional justice

Transitional justice general
No specific mention.
Amnesty/pardon
No specific mention.
Courts
No specific mention.
Mechanism
Page 1, Article One.
An independent Commission of Inquiry is hereby established to investigate and report on the events occurring in Bahrain in February/March 2011, and any subsequent consequences arising out of the aforementioned events, and to make such recommendations as it may deem appropriate.

Article Two.
The Commission consists of five eminent and internationally- renowned members, whose experience and reputation worldwide is well established. They are:
- Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni (Chair);
- Judge Phillipe Kirsch (member);
- Sir Nigel Rodley (member);
- Dr. Mahnoush Arsanjani (member);
- Dr. Badria Al-Awadhi (member).

Article Three.
The Commission is wholly independent of the Government of Bahrain or of any other government, and the members of the Commission are acting in their personal capacity and do not represent any government, international organization, public official or any economic or political interest.

Article Four.
The Commission’s mandate is to engage in fact finding and it has access to all concerned government agencies, government officials, government files and records. It is also free to meet with any person it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, representatives of civil society, human rights organizations, political groups, labor unions, and alleged victims and witnesses of alleged violations of internationally protected human rights. All relevant governmental departments shall put at the disposal of the Commission the results of their own inquiries into the above matters.

Article Five.
In connection with its work, which the Commission will determine on its own and without any interference by the government, the Commission will be able to meet with alleged victims and witnesses of alleged violations in secrecy and in accordance with measures that it shall develop to protect the privacy and security of individuals it meets with, in line with international human rights norms.

Article Six.
The government shall not interfere in any way with the work of the Commission nor shall it prevent access to it by anyone seeking to make contact with the Commission or its staff. Moreover the government shall facilitate the Commission’s and its staff’s access to such places and people as the Commission deems appropriate.

Article Seven.
The Commission shall have the authority to decide on all matters concerning the scope of its work and its methods of operation. The government shall ensure that no person or member of that person’s family who has made contact with the Commission or cooperated with the Commission shall in any way be penalized, negatively affected or in any way harassed or embarrassed by any public official or representative of the government.

Article Eight.
The work of the Commission shall be independent of any national or judicial processes even if it concerns the same subject matter. No administrative or judicial body shall have the authority of stopping, curtailing, preventing or influencing the Commission’s work and its results.
The Commission’s work does not involve political issues or negotiations.

Page 1-2, Article Nine.
The Commission’s final report, to be submitted to His Majesty no later than 30 October 2011, shall be made public in its entirety. The Commission’s report shall contain, inter alia, the following:
1) A complete narrative of the events that occurred during February and March, 2011.
2) The context for these events.
3) Whether during these events there have been violations of international human rights norms by any participants during the events or in the interaction between the public and the government.
4) A description of any acts of violence that have occurred including the nature of the acts, how they occurred, who the actors were and what consequences derived therefrom, in particular at the Salmaniya Hospital and the GCC Roundabout.
5) Instances of alleged police brutality and alleged violence by protestors and/or demonstrators against police and others, including foreigners.
6) The circumstances and appropriateness of arrests and detentions.
7) Examination of allegations of disappearances or torture.
8) Ascertain whether there was any media harassment, whether audiovisual or written, against participants in demonstrations and public protests.
9) Examination of alleged unlawful demolition of religious structures.
10) Ascertain any involvement of foreign forces and foreign actors in the events.

Page 2, Article Ten.
The Commission is free to make any recommendations, in particular recommendations for further official investigation or prosecution of any person, including public officials or employees, recommendations for reconsideration of administrative and legal actions, and recommendations concerning the institutionalization of mechanisms designed to prevent the recurrence of similar events, and how to address them.
Prisoner release
No specific mention.
Vetting
No specific mention.
Victims
No specific mention.
Missing persons
No specific mention.
Reparations
No specific mention.
Reconciliation
No specific mention.

Implementation

UN signatory
No specific mention.
Other international signatory
No specific mention.
Referendum for agreement
No specific mention.
International mission/force/similar
No specific mention.
Enforcement mechanism
No specific mention.

The University of Edinburgh