Bahrain approves UN rights recommendations

September 15, 2012

Bahrain said that it had approved 156 out of 176 recommendations set by the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) last May.

“The Kingdom has approved 143 recommendations fully and endorsed 13 others partially,” Salah Ali, the human rights minister, said.

However, Bahrain said that it had reservations about several recommendations “as they are contrary to the Islamic Shariah or to the constitution or are of political nature and interfere in the country’s sovereignty.”

Bahrain submitted the UPR reply to the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

“Bahrain has been making successive strides to guarantee the citizens’ constitutional rights and promoting legislations and democratic exercise towards achieving comprehensive justice and enforcing the rule of law in the state of institutions as urged by HM King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa,” the minister said in a statement.

Most of the recommendations set by the UN panel last May during Bahrain’s Periodic Review centred on 19 areas relating to human rights. They included penal justice, compensation of victims of the unrest, the law on nationality and teaching and training disabled people.

Other areas were family law, providing human rights training to public security forces, implementing the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) and the National Human Rights Organisation.

They also included media and press reform, children’s rights, human trafficking, international human rights covenants, national dialogue, social services, constitutional and legal amendments, safeguards for human rights, building places of worship, women’s rights, and rights of human rights activists.

“Bahrain remains committed to the follow-up and implementation of these recommendations on the ground over the coming four years and to providing regular updates,” the minister said.

A UPR Follow-up Committee has been formed with representatives from all ministries to expedite and oversee the implementation process.

“Bahrain will update the UN Human Rights Council on the progress of the implementation of the approved recommendations by late 2016.”

The minister said that Bahrain’s reply this week coincided with the royal decree to restructure the National Human Rights Organisation (NHRO).

The move will enable it to assume its duties fully, consolidate its independence, and strengthen its crucial role as a Human Rights Ombudsman in the Kingdom, he said.

“The decision is a crucial cornerstone in the reforms led by HM the King and aims to bring the NHRO in line with the Paris Principles,” the minister said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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