Causeway Institute hold discussions with key Bahraini Government Ministers

A team from the Causeway Institute has recently met with a number of Government Ministers from the Kingdom of Bahrain.  The discussions were centred upon the lessons of the Northern Ireland peace process, specifically the reform of policing and justice, and how they might be applied in Bahrain.

In the meeting with the Minister of Interior, Lt Gen Rashed Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa we discussed how the delivery of security and policing in Northern Ireland was reformed, as a concurrent part of the peace process.  Of particular interest to the Bahraini delegation was the reform of policing that led to the formation of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the importance of having properly representative security forces.  Present at the meeting was the Senior Police Adviser, John Yates, formerly of the Metropolitan Police in London.


CIPCR Chair and Director meet Bahrain's Minister of Interior


The team also met with the Minister of Justice & Islamic Affairs & Waqf, Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, to discuss the implementation of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) Recommendations.  The BICI Follow-Up Unit have just published a comprehensive summary of the progress of implementation to date.  The Minister discussed some of the challenges of driving through reforms in his department whilst dealing with offences that were committed during the civil unrest of 2011 and at the same time encouraging a process of national reconciliation. The Minister noted that there were clear comparisons with the evolution of the Northern Ireland peace process and that the Government of Bahrain was keen to learn from this.

These meetings follow on from the successful visit by a Bahraini delegation, to Northern Ireland earlier in the year.  The delegation, which was hosted by the Causeway Institute, included Dr Salah bin Ali Abdulrahman, who was recently appointed Minister of Human Rights Affairs in the Government of Bahrain.  We hope to host a follow-up visit to Northern Ireland by Dr Salah Ali and his officials in the autumn.  We have also agreed to undertake a series of further meetings, discussions and visits with delegations from across the Bahrain Government and also Civil Society Groups and Human Rights organisations.

Causeway’s work with Bahrain is being supported by the FCO in London and facilitated by the UK Embassy in Bahrain through the Ambassador there, Iain Lindsay.

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