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FOREIGN AFFAIRS—BAHRAIN

Senator Siewert, at the request of the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Milne) and pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 1265—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) 14 February marked 2 years since the outbreak of the 2011 period of major unrest in the Kingdom of Bahrain,

  (ii) this period has been characterised by a mass protest movement calling for constitutional, political and election reform,

  (iii) since then, there have been reports of ongoing human rights violations against opposition figures, demonstrators and medical practitioners at the hands of the authorities, including fatalities and arbitrary political arrests, and

  (iv) there have also been reports of acts of violence against the state, resulting in injury, and in some cases, fatalities;

 (b) welcomes the resumption of Bahrain's National Dialogue on 10 February 2013 as a positive step towards political and related reform and reconciliation and urges all parties to commit fully to the process and to reject violence; and

 (c) appeals to the Australian Government to call on the Kingdom of Bahrain to:

  (i) follow through on its commitment to full implementation of the recommendations of the November 2011 Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry on human rights violations during the 2011 unrest,

  (ii) release political prisoners who were arrested arbitrarily, investigate new reports of human rights abuses and bring the perpetrators to justice,


  (iii) respect the human rights of its people, including the right to freely protest, and the right of medical staff to give unhindered treatment to those injured while protesting, and

  (iv) commit to genuine reform that addresses the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the people of Bahrain.

Question put and passed.