With its affiliated organization in Bahrain, the Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS), FIDH organized the first event on the ICC in Bahrain for civil society representatives, by holding, with the support of the Ministry of Justice, a round table on "The ratification and implementation of the Statute of the ICC in Bahrain" in Manama on 2-4 June 2004. More than 40 persons attended, discussing the challenges of ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute by Bahrain and countries from the Golf region. The event and the final recommendations were covered by numerous press articles in national and regional newspapers.
A national coalition for the ICC was created after this round table and reinforced during the follow-up mission FIDH undertook on 6-10 November 2005. During this follow-up mission in Manama, FIDH participated in training sessions on the ICC for NGO representatives, who were interested in the ICC and in joining the Bahraini Coalition for the ICC. The coalition now counts more than 20 members and undertakes numerous activities of awareness raising towards civil society representatives as well as towards Bahraini authorities, with whom several meetings were organised after the mission.
As a follow-up to these activities, FIDH organized a training session in The Hague on 19-23 June 2006 for representatives of civil society from Bahrain, Yemen, Lebanon and Jordan, to deepen their understanding of the system of the ICC and the rights of victims recognized by the Rome Statute and to exchange experiences within the MENA region, as well as to build up a dialog between them and representatives of the different organs of the ICC. This meeting led to the participants’ commitment to take all necessary steps to form a regional coalition for the ICC composed of civil society representatives and activists from the Gulf region and led by Bahrain and Yemen organisations.
The presentations and discussions that took place during the round table of June 2004 and the follow-up activities are the subject of this report.