The Assistant Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Faisal bin Jabur Al Dossari, affirmed that respecting human rights, preserving people’s dignity and protecting them against torture, humiliation and ill-treatment is the cornerstone of the reform approach of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
The Minister remarks came in a statement he delivered on Friday before the Committee against Torture (CAT) on the occasion of the discussion of Bahrain’s second and third periodic reports.
“The Kingdom of Bahrain takes pride in its effective, integrated legislative, executive and judicial system against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” he affirmed.
He added that the system was adopted in commitment to the Convention against Torture and in line with the kingdom’s adherence to the principles of Islamic law and values throughout history, which made of it a model of tolerance and peaceful coexistence between all religions, civilizations and cultures.
The Kingdom of Bahrain has enacted its national legislation in the light of its adherence to international human rights instruments and conventions, he noted, shedding light on seven out of nine main human rights instruments, most importantly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
He pointed out that the Kingdom of Bahrain has made progress in the field of promotion and protection of human rights thanks to the existing cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities in considering the visions of the National Consensus Dialogue and recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry as well the constructive engagement with national and international human rights organizations.
The Assistant Foreign Minister reviewed the unprecedented human rights achievements attained by the Kingdom of Bahrain at the regional level which served as a catalyst to further combat torture and activate the mechanisms of prevention, control, legal accountability and right to litigation through independent institutions and bodies.
He cited in this regard the establishment of the National Human Rights Institution (NIHR), the Prisoners and Detainees Right Commission (PDRC), the Ombudsman at the Ministry of Interior, the Public Prosecution’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and development of security agencies in accordance with human rights standards.
In addition, he said, the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain has adopted the Civil Settlement Initiative to compensate those affected by February and March 2011 events under the directives of the National Committee, formed to follow up the implementation of the BICI recommendations.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is keen to strike a balance between the requirements for security and stability protection and guaranteeing human rights, despite the pressures and serious security challenges facing the country, the Assistant Minister said.
He also stressed that despite these challenges, the Kingdom is proceeding on the right path of political, democratic and legal development through effective legal and executive procedures within the framework of the partnership between the executive and legislative authorities and the support of the judiciary authority and cooperation with the civil society.
It is worth mentioning that during the discussion of the second and third periodic reports of the Kingdom of Bahrain before the UNHRC Committee Against Torture, two special rapporteurs: Mrs Essadia Belmir and Mr Alessio Bruni were assigned to discuss both reports with the members of the official delegation of the Kingdom.
After the two sides had exchanged opinions, ideas and comments contained in the two reports, the Committee praised the participating members of the Bahraini official delegation for kindly answering all of the Committee’s questions.
In this regard, the Assistant Foreign Minister affirmed that the government delegation will respond to all the questions posed by the Committee at a meeting to be held for this purpose on Monday 24th of April 2017, stressing the need for the national delegation members to give tremendous care and attention to all the questions and observations and provide precise and detailed answers, in a way reflective of a high degree of openness, transparency and objectivity.