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Cablegate: Opposition to Article 98 Agreements Appears In

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS MANAMA 000865

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR PM/SNA, NEA/RA, AND NEA/ARP
CAIRO FOR STEVE BONDY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL BA KICC
SUBJECT: OPPOSITION TO ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENTS APPEARS IN
BAHRAIN'S PRESS

REF: MANAMA 831

1.SUMMARY AND COMMENT: Bahraini Arabic newspapers reported
that participants at human rights conference roundly
criticized U.S. article 98 agreements. Fortunately,
participants did not discuss the U.S.-Bahrain Article 98
agreement. This negative press reinforces our view that
obtaining parliamentary approval for Article 98 entry into
force would be next to impossible at this time. END SUMMARY
AND COMMENT.

2. The June 5 edition of the semi-governmental Arabic daily
"al-Ayam" carried a story about a regional human rights
conference on the ratification and implementation of the
International Criminal Court Treaty. The seminar was
sponsored by the Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS), the
International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR - possibly a
French NGO), and Bahrain's Ministry of Justice. Featured
speakers included the Undersecretary of the Ministry of
Justice, Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa, BHRS President
Sabika Najjar, and an unnamed IFHR representative.

3. The journalist who wrote the story told POLFSN that a
Yemeni participant intervened during the discussions to
stress the important of rejecting the ratification of any
bilateral treaty with the U.S. that protects its soldiers and
citizens from the jurisdiction of the ICC. Participants from
Egypt and Jordan juxtaposed the EU's lack of concern with the
supreme judicial authority granted in the treaty to the ICC
with U.S. efforts to escape international accountability by
signing such bilateral agreements. A Bahraini member of the
Bahrain Society for Human Rights, a GOB-endorsed NGO, sought
clarification on the extent of protections a bilateral
agreement might provide to American citizens. He also
questioned whether bilateral treaties grant any American
immunity from ICC prosecution if they commit crimes in
countries that are parties to the ICC convention.
NEUMANN

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