Bahraini King vows to press ahead with process of reforms


Sheikh Hamad, during a meeting with representatives of Bahraini human rights associattions, held late on Wednesday, said, "We are pursuing with God’s help the process of reforms with you and for you and every one should recognize the national achievements at this level and should be proud of them."

The general amnesty, annulment of the state security law, literal implementation of the laws concerning prisoners, public participation in supervision and legislation "are non-controversial matters," he said, adding that "humanitarian issues must not be politicized and old wounds must not be re-opened."

Reforms and changes in Bahrain have been "based on local convictions and without external intervention," the monarch said, affirming that experiences of foreign states in political reforms should be studied, and not copied. He also expressed satisfaction at status of human rights in the kingdom.

Bahrain is a member state of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), founded in the early 80s, with the aim of boosting cooperation among six regional countries — in addition to Manama, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman and Qatar.

Bahrain is monarchy headed by King Hamad, who assumed power after the March 1999 death of his father, Sheikh Issa bin Salman al-Khalifa. The country has parliamentary and consultative authorities. The king has spearhaded a process for larger public representation in the state decision-making hierarchy.


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