Frequently Asked Questions
The information below was created to provide individuals with more information about the Commission, its operation, and how individuals could make inquiries or submit complaints. The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry is no longer in operation and the email addresses and phone numbers are defunct. These materials are provided only as a historical record of the activity of the Commission.
Where can I learn more?
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) will regularly post updates about its work, important developments and public events on its website. You can also follow us on Twitter, @BICI_Bahrain.
How can I share my views or make a submission?
The BICI has 5 hotlines at which a staff member can be reached to answer your queries. They are: +973 3655 5017, +973 3655 5018, +973 3647 9024, +973 3640 5265 and +973 3640 5270. In addition, we encourage you to express your views and submit information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of our staff will confirm that your email has been received.
Where do I send my video and audio recording submissions?
All informational audio and video material should be submitted by email to email@example.com.
What kind of information is useful to the BICI?
Any verifiable information concerning the events of February and March 2011 and their repercussions is most helpful to the Commission.
How will information be gathered?
The BICI investigation team will collect information through a variety of methods including interviews, site visits, the collection of documentation and the assessment of local laws and practices.
If I choose to share information, is my confidentiality guaranteed?
Yes. All emails to the Commission are confidential. Our computer servers have been designed to be secure. Individuals who choose to speak to the Commission directly can do so in complete confidentiality and with the benefit of protective measures. The identities of witnesses and individuals submitting testimony will not be made public in the final report of the BICI, unless otherwise agreed to by the source and deemed appropriate by the BICI, or in cases where the names have been otherwise well-publicized. The BICI will strive to ensure that any coverage of its work by the media will not include information related to witnesses or confidential testimonies. The BICI is not obliged to advise the government of its schedules, the people or organizations it intends to meet.
What is the Commission’s timetable?
The Commission began its work on Sunday, 24th July 2011 and it was planned that it would conclude in in late October with the final report scheduled for submission on 30th October 2011. However, due to the number of testimonies and complaints received, the Commission deadline was extended and the final report was to be released on 23rd November 2011 instead.
How were the Commissioners chosen?
The five Commissioners are recognized as world-renowned experts in the fields of international law and international human rights law and were selected in consultation with international organizations, and on the advice of BICI Chairman, Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni. Consideration was made with regards to professional backgrounds, independence and localized knowledge in addition to ensuring gender and ethnic balances are maintained.
How is the BICI funded?
The BICI is funded by the Royal Court, but was established on the condition that its funding will in no way influence its investigative process or the conclusions of its report.
How is the BICI independent?
Although a national commission, the BICI is independent by virtue of Royal Order no. 28 and Royal Order no. 29. Both the Commissioners and the investigating team have vast experience and expertise in their fields, having been involved in a number of international commissions in the past. The BICI conducts its investigations and will issue its findings and recommendations independent of any government agency.
What is the organization of the BICI?
The BICI Organisation Chart helps to explain the different roles within the Commission.
The staff of the BICI has been expanding by adding permanent staff members and consultants to work on a limited basis in order to accommodate the growing requests of the public. Some of the BICI staff are on leave from judicial posts and other positions that limit the amount of time they are able to spend with us in Bahrain. While the
number of staff and consultants will inevitably vary between now and the end of our mission, nothing should be read into such personnel changes to reflect negatively on those who leave us, or on the BICI itself. The BICI is working to ensure that it has sufficient staff to best pursue the mission contained in our mandate.
How do other investigations impact the BICI?
The BICI will take into consideration all relevant work conducted by other organizations which impact its mandate – human rights violations in Bahrain since February 2011. The BICI welcomes the findings of other NGOs or investigative agencies where relevant.
How do I reach the BICI for a media request?
All media queries and interview requests can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org. The news page on the website will also maintain all the latest news statements issued by the BICI.