I was satisfied with the overall Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report and its findings. I thought it was fair and relatively accurate. However, I was very disappointed at how some groups & media “cherry pick”. They like to emphasize only on the negatives of the Bahrain Government while totally disregarding the mistakes of protesters. Well, since they “Cherry Pick” I decided to do the same. See how things look when one merely selects only certain parts of the entire report and disregards the rest.
Some important Information mentioned in the BICI report about Bahrain:
Total number of persons residing in Bahrain is 1,234,571. Of
these, 568,399 are Bahraini citizens (46%) and 666,172 are expatriates
(54%). Of the total population of Bahrain, 70% are Muslim, while the
remaining 30% are Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish or followers of other
A census undertaken in 1941 prior
to Bahrain‘s independence placed the percentage of Sunnis at 48% and Shia at
52% of the Muslim population.
43. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background: A. Basic Information about Bahrain: Page 11
Unemployment rates were below 4% at the beginning of
2011, and subsequently rose to around 4% in the following months.
59. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background:D. Economic and Social Issue: Page 16
According to the United Nations Development Programme Human
Development Index, Bahrain ranks above the Arab regional average.
Education is not compulsory, but all levels of education,
including higher education, are free to Bahrainis.
61. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background:D. Economic and Social Issue: Page 17-18
Many (Bahrain Shias) follow the guidance of Iran‘s Grand Ayatollah
Politically, the Grand Ayatollah espouses
the doctrine of Wilayat al-Faqih, which grants the religious establishment
supreme authority over matters of both faith and state.
67. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background: E. Religious and Sectarian Composition of the
Population: Page 20
Many Sunnis have continuously expressed concern at calls by some
politically active Shia religious figures, community leaders and groups to
replace the existing political order with an Islamic State based on the Wilayat
al Faqih system analogous to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
69. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background: E. Religious and Sectarian Composition of the
Population: Page 22
Number of licensed Sunni mosques as of 2008 is 360, while the
number of licensed Shia places of worship stands at 863 mosques and 589
ma‟atams (Total= 1,452)
70. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background: E. Religious and Sectarian Composition of the
Population: Page 23
Some important BICI Findings regarding the recent Bahrain Unrest in SMC (Salmaniya Hospital):
During the period from 14 February to 16 March 2011, protesters
gathered at the entry and exit of SMC (Salmaniya Medical Complex, the largest Hospital
in the country).
The Commission received video footage showing a Shia cleric calling on strong young
men to control the entrance and exit of SMC (Basically taking over the hospital)..
..Some (Doctors) had political ties with the opposition and pursued a political agenda.
Among them were some who were seen leading demonstrations and chants
against the regime both outside and inside SMC. These persons moved in and
out of their roles as political activists and medical personnel, the latter being
expected to carry out their professional, ethical and legal duties and
Concerning the (Government of Bahrain) claims that the accused medical staff
intentionally spread false rumours and information about the events at SMC,
there is evidence supporting these claims with respect to some.
At least one individual impersonated an SMC medical staff member. Video footage
was received showing an individual who was not a staff member at SMC giving false
information to an unknown news agency.
The medical staff… did not attempt to prevent the media from filming inside the
emergency Section and on the ground floor of SMC in general, thus contravening
the Code of Ethics in terms of patientconfidentiality.
Unauthorised marches and protests did take place inside and outside SMC.
A number of injured expatriates who were brought to SMC were first attacked by
protesters in different locations in the city and that they were also assaulted by the
protesters in front of the Emergency Section.
Video tapes and witness statements show cases of mistreatment against patients because they
were Sunni expatriate workers and thought to be part of the security forces.
Such conduct, which is on tape and supported by the statements is in contravention
of the Bahrain Code of Medical Ethics.
Further, statements by witnesses suggest that the manner in which some of the doctors treated
some injured expatriate persons rises to a level of human insensitivity and professional
disregard for medical ethics.
Commission received one video recording showing a Sunni carrying an infant and being denied
access to SMC by three medical staff. In the video, he alleges that this was because of
his sect. Several witness statements presented to the Commission also support
allegations of discrimination and denial of medical care.
It is well established that the open areas outside the SMC buildings were occupied by protesters,
who controlled the entrances and exits.
The Commission finds that the occupation and control of the area by protesters hampered general access
to the hospital and created a perception of an unsecure environment for those requiring medical
Some Sunni patients seeking to gain access to SMC for medical
treatment were turned away. Most of SMC‘s ground floor level, including the
Emergency Section, the ICU and the administrative section, were taken over
and controlled by medical personnel, resulting in difficulties for the
833-847 BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 209-213
The Commission received video footage recording protesters at SMC
chanting discriminatory slogans such as, ―”Naturalised citizens get out”. Other
video footage records protesters chanting, ―”Death to Al Khalifa” outside the
738. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 185
The Commission received video footage showing an interview given
by one of the accused doctors to the media in which he stated that not all
patients were protesters, but that some were expatriates who worked for the
security forces. He shows a table housing the identification of patients,
making no attempt to hide the identities of the patients. Other video footage
depicts an SMC nurse treating a patient of Asian origin. While treating the
patient she was asking him why he was hurting the Bahraini people.
745. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 187
One account of a patient unable to reach SMC was provided by a
woman who was three months pregnant at the time.She reported that due
to road closures and protesters on the street, it took her approximately three or
four hours to drive to her routine appointment at BDF Hospital. Once there,
her physician noticed that she had uterine bleeding. He told her that she
should go home and rest, but that if the bleeding continued she should call an
ambulance or go to a hospital immediately. On 15 and 16 March 2011, she
continued to bleed but was unable to go to a hospital because of road closures
and chaos on the streets. She did not go to SMC because she had heard
television reports that armed opposition protesters had occupied the hospital.
She stated that she felt she could not go to SMC because, being Sunni, she did
not think she would be safe or receive proper medical treatment there. On 17
March, she miscarried. She called BDF Hospital for an ambulance but they
were unable to send an ambulance because of the security situation. Her
husband drove her to a private clinic but after being admitted she found that
she would not be able to afford treatment there and so she left. She was
eventually admitted to Muharraq Hospital, where the attending physician told
her that she had lost her baby and that this was because she had been unable to
receive medical treatment during the two days of bleeding.
746. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 187
Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society presented a file to the
Commission that included cases of three individuals who claimed that they
were refused treatment or were verbally abused by medical staff at SMC
because they were Pakistani.
747. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 187
One doctor stated that one accused doctor gave her attention to
injured Shia patients rather than Sunnis.
748. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 187
The Commission received several complaints alleging discrimination
against Sunni patients by medical staff at SMC. These included accusations
of medical negligence and denial of medical care.
749. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 187
Some important BICI Reports regarding Attack on Civilians by Bahrain Anti-Government Protesters:
Shop owners in the Sheikh Abdulla Street in the Manama market (Near GCC Roundabout) stated that unidentified
masked individuals entered their property and demanded that they close their
216. BICI Report: Chapter IV — Narrative of Events of February and March 2011: Page 68
Many of the attacks reported during the day were against expatriates
residing in Bahrain, especially those of Asian descent. At 21:50, for example,
reports were filed by a person of Asian descent that a large group of people
was assaulting foreign workers in the areas surrounding the Bahrain Hotel.
Similarly, groups of unidentified individuals bearing sticks, wooden planks
and metal rods set up a road block in the vicinity of the Manama Police
Department and attacked a person of Asian descent.
458. BICI Report: Chapter IV — Narrative of Events of February and March 2011: Page 121
As in previous days, a number of expatriate workers, most of whom
were of South Asian origin, were attacked and harassed by groups of
unidentified individuals. At approximately midday, a Bangladeshi national
named Mr Mohammad Ikhlas Tozzomul Ali was killed when he was run over
by a car in Sitra. Three other Bangladeshi workers were also injured in that
521. BICI Report: Chapter IV — Narrative of Events of February and March 2011: Page 138
The Commission finds sufficient evidence to support the finding that
Sunnis were targeted by some demonstrators… The Sunni community was seen as a target due to the perception that all
Sunnis are agents or supporters of the GoB and the ruling family. The
Commission also finds support for the claim of denial of medical care and
intentional negligence of Sunni patients during the events of February/March.
The Commission also finds sufficient evidence to establish that some
expatriates, particularly South Asian workers, were the targets of attacks
during the events of February/March 2011…
Various neighbourhoods where
expatriates lived in Bahrain were the subject of sporadic violent attacks
creating an environment of fear, resulting in many expatriates leaving their
homes and living in shelters. Because of this atmosphere of fear some foreign
nationals were afraid of returning to work or places of business. The
Commission notes that four expatriates were killed and many were injured by
mobs as a result of these attacks.
1710-1711. BICI Report: Chapter XII — General Observations and Recommendations: Page 410
Some important BICI Reports regarding Actions of Police and Security Forces:
The Commission acknowledges that there were periods during which
the police exercised restraint and no deaths or injuries occurred. At other
times, there were a limited number of deaths or injuries, which, if viewed in
the context of a chaotic and potentially violent crowd control situation, could
arise from a reasonable use of force producing unintended consequences.
866. BICI Report: Chapter VI — Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against the Person: Page 219
The Commission concludes that in general the BDF (Bahrain Defense Force “Army”) did not use
871. BICI Report: Chapter VI — Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against the Person: Page 219
Four police officers and one BDF officer died during the
relevant period. The deaths of three police officers are attributable to
Police officer Ahmed Rashid Al Muraysi was run over by a vehicle
at the GCC Roundabout on 15 March 2011.Two individuals have been
convicted of this murder. A trial took place before the National Safety Court.
One individual received a life sentence while the other received the death
Police officers Kashif Ahmed Mandour and Mohamed Farooq
Abdul Samad were run over by a vehicle near the GCC Roundabout on 16
March 2011. Seven individuals have been charged with these murders. Three
of the accused have allegedly confessed to the crime
884-886. BICI Report: Chapter VI — Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against the Person: Page 222
BICI Findings regarding Demolishing Mosques:
The Commission inspected 30 places of worship and found that only
five of them had both the requisite royal deed and building permit. (The other
places of worship were illegal)
1329. BICI Report: Chapter VII — Other Human Rights Issues: Page 320
Attacks by Anti-Government Rioters on Civilians:
The Commission found sufficient evidence to establish that some
expatriates, in particular South Asian workers, were the targets of attacks
during the events of February/March 2011. The Commission finds that four
expatriates were killed by mob attacks during the events and many were
Pakistanis, in particular, were the target of attacks owing to their
membership of some of them in the BDF and police force. Various
neighourhoods where expatriates live in Bahrain were the subject of sporadic
attacks. The attacks on expatriates created an environment of fear, resulting in
many of them leaving their homes and living in shelters. Other foreign
nationals relayed to the Commission that they feared leaving their homes,
attending services at their places of worship, or going to work. This caused
many foreign nationals economic loss because they were fearful of returning
to work and opening their businesses. The attacks on South Asian expatriates
also resulted in hundreds of Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Indians fleeing the
There is a high degree of mistrust of immigrants by the Shia
Community…. Racial and sectarian strife and sometimes xenophobic sentiments towards foreigners.
1525-1527. BICI Report: Chapter VIII — Allegations of Violence by Non-Governmental Actors: Page 364
The Commission found sufficient evidence to support the finding that
Sunnis were targeted by some groups of demonstrators, either because they
professed loyalty to the regime or on the basis of their sect. Sunnis were
subjected to physical attacks and attacks on their property as well as
harassment. Many of these incidents occurred at schools and makeshift
checkpoints operated by civilians. These attacks were sufficient to create an
environment of fear and mistrust that exacerbated tensions in a country
The Commission found that members of the Sunni community were
subjected to verbal harassment during the protests. Such verbal abuse took
place in the streets, in the workplace and in schools and universities, and
mainly focused on the perceived loyalty of Sunnis to the regime and the
Khalifa family. The Sunni community was seen as a target due to the
perception that all Sunnis are agents or supporters of the GoB and the ruling
Al Khalifa family.
It appears that the Sunni community was threatened and targeted
throughout the protests. In some cases there were direct threats to the lives
and welfare of Sunnis. In addition, the Commission recorded evidence
supporting the claims that Sunni residences were marked during the protests.
The complaints by Sunnis alleging denial of medical care and
intentional negligence were supported by a number of witness statements from
doctors, patients and members of the patients‘ families.
1557-1560. BICI Report: Chapter VIII — Allegations of Violence by Non-Governmental Actors: Page 364
Allegations Against Bahrain Television (BTV):
Commission did not find any evidence of media
coverage that constituted hate speech or incitement to violence.
1629. BICI Report: Chapter X — Allegations of Media Harassment: Page 389