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.