We welcome today’s report by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, which provides a thorough and independent assessment of events in Bahrain since protests first erupted in February. King Hamad’s decision to establish the Commission was a courageous one, and we commend him for it. We commend the chairman of the Commission, Cherif Bassiouni and the other commissioners for their thorough and painstaking efforts over nearly 5 months. The report identifies a number of disturbing human rights abuses that took place during this period, and it is now incumbent upon the Government of Bahrain to hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations and put in place institutional changes to ensure that such abuses do not happen again.
We welcome King Hamad’s commitment to carry out the report’s recommendations and will closely follow the implementation process. More broadly, we believe the Commission’s report and subsequent steps taken to implement its recommendations can serve as a foundation for advancing reconciliation and reform. Bahrain is a long-standing partner of the United States, and we urge the government and all parties to take steps that lead to respect for universal human rights and to meaningful reforms that meet the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis.
The United States welcomes the release of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report, and we commend King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa’s initiative in commissioning it.
Our countries have many shared, strategic interests and a relationship that includes decades of working together to defend regional security. In this context, it is essential for Bahrainis themselves to resolve the issues identified in the report and move forward in a way that promotes reform, reconciliation, and stability.
We are deeply concerned about the abuses identified in the report, and urge the Government and all elements of Bahraini society to address them in a prompt and systematic manner. The Government of Bahrain has committed to establish a follow-on committee to implement the report’s recommendations, and we urge full and expeditious implementation of these recommendations.
The United States will continue to promote the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all of Bahrain’s citizens. We believe the BICI report offers a historic opportunity for all Bahrainis to participate in a healing process that will address long-standing grievances and move the nation onto a path of genuine, sustained reform.
The United States condemns in the strongest terms the senseless acts of violence today in Yemen, including the attack against the Presidential Palace compound in Sana’a as well as other attacks in Sana’a and throughout the country. We call on all sides to cease hostilities immediately and to pursue an orderly and peaceful process of transferring political power as called for in the GCC-brokered agreement. Violence cannot resolve the issues that confront Yemen, and today’s events cannot be a justification for a new round of fighting. We urge all sides to heed the wishes of the Yemeni people, whose aspirations include peace, reform, and prosperity.
In meetings held June 1-3 in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan and his Saudi and Emirati counterparts expressed deep concern at the deteriorating situation throughout Yemen. Mr. Brennan said that the United States would continue to coordinate closely with both governments on developments in Yemen in an effort to help bring an end to the violence.