The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), headed by international legal scholar Cherif Bassiouni, issued a 501-page report evaluating the events of February and March 2011 on the basis of international human rights norms. As to the sacking of thousands of workers this year, the report fully confirmed the ITUC’s assertions that the firings of public and private sector workers were undertaken in retaliation for participation in demonstrations and legal strikes, that the government created an environment which encouraged the sackings and in some cases directly urged companies to do so, that the authorities “applied” the law in a discriminatory manner, and that the vast majority of the firings were illegal under domestic and international law.
The ITUC affiliate in Bahrain, the GFBTU, has issued a statement in which it "welcomed the contents of the report with regards to recommendations related to workers, particularly those dismissed, as it confirmed without room for doubt that their dismissal came outside the framework of the law".
The GFBTU called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the report, particularly concerning the immediate reinstatement of, and compensation to, all trade union leaders and workers in both the public and private sectors. It also "stressed the importance of holding accountable those who undertook the dismissal measures in violation of the law, as well as those who targeted trade union leaders because of their trade union activity, in order to ensure that these practices will not occur again".
Last week, the International Labour Organization’s Governing Body agreed to the establishment of a tri-partite commission to review the mass sackings. The commission should expedite its review of these cases in light of the findings and conclusions of the BICI report.