Bahrain seeks judiciary watchdog
Manama, June 29, 2008
An independent body should be set up to monitor Bahrain's judicial system, human rights activists have said.
Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) adviser Abdulnabi Al Ekri said the watchdog should have the power to select and dismiss judges and examine controversial cases.
The proposal was one of 30 recommendations included in the sixth annual BHRS human rights report, unveiled in a Press conference at the Crowne Plaza on Saturday.
BHRS secretary-general Dr Abdulla Aldeerazi, assistant secretary general Isa Al Ghayeb and board member Ahmed Hejri were also present at the event.
"There is no independent body to select the judges, promote and dismiss them and analyse their performance," said Al Ekri, who is also Bahrain Transparency Society president.
"Unless the judiciary has its own body which rules and governs it, you do not expect that it will be independent."
Al Ekri also accused the present judiciary of being reluctant to proceed with cases against government officials. "Why do the courts refuse to allow cases against the police, Interior Ministry and the state?" he asked.
The report included the example of a group of protesters allegedly injured by security forces during a peaceful demonstration in May 2004.
It was only examined last year, but the High Civil Court refused to accept the matter as a legitimate case.
An appeal was lodged to the Cassation Court, but it is yet to issue a verdict.-TradeArabia News Service