Amnesty Delegations Holds Talks with Senior Bahraini Officials
An Amnesty International delegation held talks Sunday with senior officials in Bahrain following a democracy referendum and the release of political prisoners, reported AFP.
Amnesty spokesman Kamal Samari said a three-member team led by law professor Bartram Brown met Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Khalifa al-Khalifa after talks Saturday with the foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammad bin Mubarak al-Khalifa.
They were to meet the justice and labour ministers on Monday.
“We are hoping to talk in-depth with members of the civil society and senior officials, Samari told the Gulf Daily upon the delegation’s arrival on Friday.
“Bahrain has taken very positive steps and we want to assist in promoting and protecting such positive and encouraging development,” he added.
Amnesty was barred from visiting Bahrain for 12 years until a delegation visited in June 2000, when it was granted access only to officials, said AFP.
Last week, a Bahraini human rights group was licensed by the authorities.
The decision came after a national charter for democratic reforms, notably the restoration of parliament after a 26-year break and the setting up of a constitutional monarchy, won a crushing majority in a mid-February referendum.
The government declared an amnesty for opponents ahead of the vote that led to several opposition leaders returning to the emirate as well as the release of all political prisoners.