BICI Reiterates Position on Recent Events
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) has been following the information being circulated about its work and the statements attributed to its Chairperson Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni in the local Bahraini and international press. Because this information is either inaccurate or baseless, the BICI is compelled to issue the following statement.
The BICI denies the report being circulated on some electronic social media platforms that its Chairperson or any of its members have resigned their positions. All the members of the Commission continue to discharge their duties. The Commissioners are studying and analyzing the increasingly large amounts of evidence being gathered by its investigators for the preparation of BICI’s final report due on October 30th 2011.
In accordance with its mandate, the BICI since its establishment has been making every effort to investigate complaints in connection with the disturbances that occurred in Bahrain in February and March 2011 and in that regard to collect evidence and testimonies. The BICI investigators have conducted numerous field visits and interviews to collect information from a variety of sources. These have included visits to 6 police stations and detention facilities, and visits to 6 hospitals. The BICI investigators conducted over 250 personal interviews with citizens during these field visits. In addition, staff members have met with over 670 persons at the BICI Headquarters in Manama to record their testimony about the events of February/March 2011. Moreover, the BICI has received over 2500 ommunications and complaints via email, regular mail, and recorded videos pertaining to the time period under investigation. Staff members have also met with families of persons who were killed during the confrontations and demonstrations that occurred in Bahrain to record their testimonies.
BICI has also received communications from and held meetings with representatives of workers unions, students dismissed from university, civil society organizations, and political activists, as well as with officials from the various government agencies.
BICI was and remains committed to collecting evidence from the broadest possible sources. The BICI, therefore, continues to welcome information from all persons in Bahrain. The Commission remains open to schedule personal meetings with individuals to record their testimony about the events of February/March 2011.
The Chairperson of BICI wishes to clarify that, contrary to information relayed by some news media outlets, he did not issue any statements on the outcome of the Commission’s investigations. The Chairperson’s recent interview with a Bahraini local newspaper was misrepresented. Professor Bassiouni’s comments were limited to clarifying the differences between various categories of crimes and violations of international law. Nothing in the Chairpersons comments prejudices the work of the Commission or its investigations. The findings and conclusions reached by BICI will appear in its final report.
The Commission and its staff also wish to express their gratitude to the many persons who have, over the past few days, sent messages of support to BICI and expressed their confidence in its work. We are also grateful to all the Bahraini citizens who have come forward in the past weeks with information and complaints. We reaffirm to the people of Bahrain, civic organizations, political opposition, and the government that we are committed to the completion of our mission.
The BICI affirms that it is undertaking its mission with the utmost professionalism and political neutrality