Today January 25, 2012 – the day of the anniversary of the start of the glorious Egyptian revolution and the historical development of the transformation to genuine democracy in the Arab world – a decision has been made in Bahrain that will remain in history and in the constitutional jurisprudence, the constitutionality of Decree No. 18 of 2011 declaring a state of National Safety through the Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court decided today to reject the Government’s request that challenged the constitutionality of all or some of the provisions of the Decree, the Decree which Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry ( BICI ) recommended that it should be reviewed by the Constitutional Court, according to paragraph 184. The BICI consisting of leading experts in law and those involved in human rights issues and constitutional law, decided the seriousness of the defenses and slanders against the National Safety Decree provided by the lawyers at the National Safety Courts. The BICI mentioned in its Report that the effect of the Decree of National Safety may impose actions and measures more severe than those determined by the state of martial law, in an implication of the unconstitutionality of the Decree.
In the light of the current rigid political reality, which increases the power of giving priority to security options, instead of addressing the roots of the crisis in a serious political dialogue, and in light of the clear escape from the serious implementation of the Recommendations of the BICI, and through the policies adopted to dissolve the Recommendations and empty them from their content, Al Wefaq had been following the repeated requests from the lawyers to be given permission to plead before the Constitutional Court in accordance with established procedures to present their defenses against the constitutionality of the Decree of the National Safety. However, the Court, despite the Recommendation of BICI in paragraph 184, continued to reject these requests. It is the lawyers’ constitutional right as people specialized in the matter to present their comments and arguments before the Constitutional Court and this right should not be confined to be exercised only by the Government which itself issued the Decree and worked in accordance to it.
All of the above were pointing to the result of today’s sentencing, which decided the constitutionality of the National Safety Decree, this first, means preventing contact with the Court,on the one hand , and on the other hand ,deciding the constitutionality of the Decree means that the slaughter of the rights and freedoms that was done under the cover of the National Safety Decree was constitutional, and that the splitting of citizens in the Courts of National Safety, without any guarantees for their rights, or to follow standards of fair trial, having made them suffer different meals of torture to extract confessions, all of that was constitutional.
The decision of the Constitutional Court today confirmed that it is another institution of the State linked to the National Safety period, and there is no longer an institution of the state that does not have a hand in the violations occurred in that period and still ongoing.
Al Wefaq stressed that it would not deal with the subject politically, and will leave it to the study of constitutional scholars. In addition to releasing a book explaining the issue, Al Wefaq will address a number of prominent constitutional scholars in prestigious universities and scientific research institutions to study and comment on the Decision of the Constitutional Court, and will seek to publish these comments in the constitutional courts’ law research journals in the world.
Moreover, if the decision of the constitutionality of the National Safety was intact, it confirms the necessity of the formulation of a new constitution as mentioned in the Manama Document because the current Constitution devotes all the violations that have occurred and referred to by the Report of the BICI.
This emphasizes that the problem in Bahrain, is the problem of institutions and constitutional system that is allowing the confiscation of freedoms and guarantees to the citizens and abuse of power, under the protection of the Constitution. Such abuses affirm that the Constitution lacks an element of the state of law, which is based on protecting the rights and freedoms. A state of law in constitutional jurisprudence and political systems has a specific meaning, and today’s decision has cleared all these words empty of meaning.
The decision of the constitutionality of the National Safety Decree by the Constitutional Court proved to the whole world that the judiciary in Bahrain at all its degrees and levels is in the hands of the authorities and goes where it so wishes.
This situation establishes the urgent need to remedy a UN mechanism for the protection of human rights and freedoms in Bahrain, and to stop the violence from the Government that have violated all the rights and freedoms under the cover of the Constitution.