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EU rights panel slams resolution on Bahrain

MEMBERS of a European Parliament human rights subcommittee, who visited Bahrain recently, yesterday said the parliament's urgent resolution on the kingdom without reviewing the panel's report was not balanced.

"We think our report should have been discussed before any resolution, and what was issued was not sufficiently balanced," said head of the delegation Inese Vaidere.

She stressed members of the delegation found the situation in Bahrain had stabilised and there were no mass protests or violence.

She said they met representatives of the opposition, members of the media and human rights activists.

Ms Vaidere, addressing an EU Parliament session in Strasbourg, France, welcomed the co-operation of authorities in Bahrain, as well as the kingdom's delegation in Brussels in arranging the visit and meetings with senior government officials.

She said the meetings were highly beneficial to the delegation in understanding facts about the developments in Bahrain. She said a lot of positive steps have been undertaken by the government in line with recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI).

Ms Vaidere praised reforms to ensure freedom of expression, reinforce independence of the legislative authority and safeguard human rights.

She said the panel's 15-page report was objective and recorded a lot of positive steps, and also included a number of recommendations.

Bahrain's Ambassador to the European Union stressed that the visit of the delegation was aimed at reinforcing co-operation between the Bahraini government and the European Parliament, expressing his disappointment that the parliament issued a resolution pre-empting the results of the delegation's visit to Bahrain.

Meanwhile, EU representative Anna Carin Krostade praised His Majesty King Hamad's initiative inviting all parties to resume the national dialogue and settle pending issues. She called on all sides to join ranks and create favourable conditions to ensure the success of the dialogue and approve desired reforms. She also announced EU plans to co-operate with Bahrain to train judges in line with BICI recommendations.

British member of EU Parliament Dr Charles Tannock acknowledged the tremendous challenges facing Bahrain. He also condemned Iran's flagrant interference in Bahrain's affairs.



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