Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights in cooperation with The University of Melbourne Asia Institute are delighted to invite you to a seminar on "Human Rights Abuses in the Gulf States"
Friday, 31st March, 2017 - 12:30 p.m.
Room 321, Level 3, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, Swanston St, University of Melbourne
Participants will discuss the human rights abuses in the Gulf States, particularly the recent executions and the rising religious discrimination in Bahrain against the indigenous Bahrainis. Panelists will also shed the light on the human rights crisis caused by the war in Yemen.
GIDHR will launch a report on the recent executions in Bahrain.
The seminar will bring together members of:
- Amnesty International
- Socialist Alliance
- Welcome to Australia
- SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights.
GIDHR delegation met on Wednesday (February 15, 2017) Dr Bruno Scholl, the Head of Political, Press, and Information Section in the Delegation of the European Union to Australia and New Zealand. The visit aims to consolidate GIDHR international relations and to present the human rights situation in Bahrain. GIDHR delegation included Yahya Alhadid, GIDHR President, and Ghassan Khamis, the Head of International Relations Committee.
The discussion shed the light on the human rights issues in Bahrain, as GIDHR delegation emphasised on the seriousness of the escalating steps of the Bahraini regime, particularly the issues of executions, arbitrary arrests, targeting human rights and political activists, and confiscation of freedom of political activism.
Dr Scholl welcomed cooperating with Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR) and seeking to put an end to the human rights violations in Bahrain.
Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR) in coordination with Amnesty International and University of Sydney, organised, on November 11, 2016, a seminar “Revoking Citizenship in Bahrain: the Silent Execution”.
The seminar began with a video from SBS TV archive addressing revoking the citizenship of Sayed Alawi Al-Biladi because of demanding political reform through social media outlets.
Fiona Bachman, the committee board member at Amnesty International – Sydney, discussed Amnesty International’s annual reports of the current and the previous year to compare the increase in the human rights violations in Bahrain.
Ghassan Khamis, the head of the international relations committee in GIDHR, reviewed GIDHR report issued earlier this year about revoking citizenship in Bahrain.
Yahya Alhadid, the president of GIDHR, reported the Bahraini authorities’ usage of revoking citizenship as a weapon to punish the political and human rights activists and their families, what obliged many of them to leave the country.
Dr Mohammed Wahbi, the specialist in Arabic political affairs in University of Sydney, concluded the seminar considering that the policy of importing change doesn’t really make change, because the people and the society are the major motive of change. “The society is affected by the economic and social pressures, the revolution in Bahrain was affected by the Arabic Spring revolutions. It has lightly affected Saudi Arabia, and there are some opponents in the Gulf had emerged after the evolution in Bahrain,” he said.
Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR) in Australia had participated in the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. Mr Ghassan Khamis, the head of the International Relations Committee, attended the Council on behalf of GIDHR from September 19, 2016 until September 26, 2016.
On Monday, September 19, Mr Khamis met with Mr Alexander Chapman, the Second Secretary at the Australian Permanent Mission to United Nation, and introduced GIDHR and its strategy in focusing on the Gulf region.
On Tuesday, September 20, Mr Ghassan Khamis met with Mrs Hannah McGlade, a professor in University of Curtin in Perth and UN Senior Indigenous Fellow. Mr Khamis explained the need to classify the Bahraini Shiites as indigenous people and the government policy of sectarian persecution.
On Wednesday, September 21, Mr Ghassan Khamis met with Mr Keith M. Harper, the US Ambassador Representative to Human Rights Council in Geneva and introduced GIDHR and its strategy in focusing on the Gulf region. He explained targeting the human rights defenders and the opponents. Mr Khamis also met with Mr Julian Braithwaite, the ambassador and permanent representative at the United Kingdom Mission. They discussed the sectarian discrimination against the Bahraini Shiites.
On Thursday, September 22, Mr Khamis met with Mr Leigh McCumber, the Canadian Mission in Geneva. They discussed the sectarian discrimination against the Bahraini Shiites.
On Friday, September 23, Mr Khamis with five Bahraini human rights organizations attended a meeting with Ms Renee Arian, the Human Rights Adviser for Middle East at the Australian Permanent Mission to Untied Nation. They discussed various topics regarding the repression in Bahrain. Mr Khamis, also, met with Mrs Agathe Artus, a member in Swiss Journalism Union. They discussed the situation and targeting the press and social media in Bahrain and the Gulf.
Mr Ghassan Khamis attended several sessions, meetings, protests and press conference during his visit to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR) participated in the international conference “Shia Persecution in Bahrain” organised by “SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights” in coordination with “No Peace without Justice” in the Belgian capital, Brussels on April 22 and 23, 2016.
Ghassan Khamis, the head of the international relations committee in GIDHR, submitted a research paper titled “Sectarian Persecution in the Ruling System of Bahrain”. The research paper addressed 3 major titles, discrimination in each of the executive, legislative, and judiciary authorities.
Khamis reviewed Al-Khalifa’s seizure the presidency of the Cabinet since more than 4 decades, as well as the failure of the regime to fulfil the aspirations of people of Bahrain following their vote on the National Action Charter. He, also, explained the exclusive possession of holding the decision-making ministries by the ruling family, and the preserve of the ministries of interior, defence, foreign affairs, and justice for the Sunni sect only.
Furthermore, Khamis discussed the Shiite citizens, who make up around 70% of the Bahraini population, representation in the Parliament of Bahrain. The King of Bahrain divided the parliament into 2 equal chambers, the House of Representatives which is elected, and the Shura Council which is appointed by the King. Both chambers enjoy the same legislative powers.
“The Supreme Judicial Council, which is the highest judicial authority, is headed by the King who appoints the members of the Constitutional Court,” Khamis said. “Most of the supreme curts judges are members of the ruling family or non-Bahrainis, while the court of cassation judges are appointed or removed by royal decrees,” he added.
Khamis concluded by the opposition demands to employ the Shiite citizens in the judiciary, and to establish a judicial commission monitored by the parliament to form independent judiciary away from the government interference.