By Elizabeth Broomhall
Pledge follows first meeting with British PM since violent crackdown in Gulf state
The King of Bahrain has pledged a decade-long period of democratic reform following a meeting with UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, state media reported.
King Hamad Al-Khalifa said he would back a wave of reforms in “the judicial, social and economic fields”, in pursuit of “a more just and fair society,” Bahrain News Agency said.
The meeting marked the first between the two countries since deadly clashes between protesters and Bahraini security forces broke out in February.
Some 40 people died in the unrest, while 2,000 were sacked from state jobs. A report last month found Bahraini police used excessive force and “systemic” torture against protestors.
The UK criticised the government’s response and suspended weapons sales to the Gulf kingdom after tear gas and rubber bullets were used on demonstrators.
Bahrain has since rolled out a reform drive that it says is aimed at protecting rights and freedoms while enforcing order. King Hamad said Monday that Britain’s expertise in political reform would be welcomed by the island state and requested practical support across a number of fields.
Bahrain has reportedly already hired former US police chief John Timoney and ex-London Metropolitan officer John Yates to replace its oversee reform of its police force.
The Gulf state’s Health Authority said on Monday it had reinstated 480 employees that were sacked during the unrest. The future of a further 41 employees involved in penal cases would be deciding pending the court verdicts, the authority said in a statement to news agency BNA.
Based on efforts at reform to date, the 10 years of reform will begin in approximately 2020. After commissions to look at the results of commissions that looked at the results of commissions. And, of course, trials that are held over until a later date. By then, the tear gas may have run out.
Since Feb 2011, Bahrain has changed its policies dramatically. These are all reforms. The independent commission implementations is part of the reforms and the oversee of the police force, the release of prisoners, the reinstatement of workers, the change in internal security policies, the reshuffling of ministers, the shift from military to civilian courts. Of course you don't have to meet the demand of the protests for the removal of the King or Prime Minister. Those are not considered 'reforms' as far as the government is concerned, those are considering a 'coup'. If the Shia are on the streets calling for a Shia leader and a 'coup' then its just not going to work, and it wont help the reform process, it will lead to tear gas and more tear gas.
Bahrain is very advanced and developed and provides an enormous amount of genorocity, such as free healthcare, free education, lowest gasoline prices in the world, subsidies on food, public housing, freedom to conduct business etc.