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Dr. Salah Ali: UN Special Rapporteur Delays Visit to Bahrain at His Request
04 : 03 PM - 01/01/2013

Manama, Jan. 1. (BNA) – The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has requested to postpone a visit to Bahrain in February, 2013, at the invitation of the Government of Bahrain, Human Rights Affairs Minister Dr. Salah bin Ali Abdulrahman has revealed.

Dr. Salal Ali said that the kingdom invited the Special Rapporteur on torture to visit it in February, 2013, in line with its keenness to honour its human rights commitments, but the visit was postponed because of a change in the UN official's schedule.

The Minister added that Bahrain welcomes all visits by UN officials in order to enable them to be informed about its landmark achievements and efforts to develop its performance regarding human rights practices, as reflected in its comprehensive national programme to promote human rights culture, commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) and pledge to achieve the recommendations issued by the UN Human Rights Council during its Universal Periodic Review of the kingdom's report last September, 2012.

Dr. Salah Ali affirmed that the kingdom's Permanent Delegation to the UN Office in Geneva had received an official correspondence from the Office of the Special Rapporteur on torture in which he requested delaying the visit to May, 2013, due to academic obligations.

The Minister underlined that Bahrain will continue welcoming various officials from UN agencies and prestigious human rights organisations, explaining that over 80 Arab and international human rights organisations or entities have visited the kingdom since the outbreak of the regretful incidents in February, 2011.

The Human Rights Affairs Minister said that Bahrain is undergoing major reforms in the political, economic, human rights and development fields, and pledged during the UN Human Rights Council's session last September to submit a report on its human rights practices after two year, which, he noted, is a living proof of the government's transparent approach regarding the human rights issue.

The Minister confirmed that the Government of Bahrain has nothing to hide from UN officials, and the numerous visits to the Kingdom by delegations from the UN, prestigious human rights organisations and parliaments have proven its transparency in dealing with the issue, adding that His Majesty the King's pioneering Reform Project has paved the way for the open-door policy, consultation and constant interaction with all relevant sides in order to develop human rights practices in the country and correct the fallacious, incoherent and misleading information disseminated by biased media outlets.

He emphasised that respect of human rights in Bahrain is not a just a slogan, but an every practice based on solid constitutional, legal and legislative bases, reiterating the government's readiness to cooperate fully with any specialised UN agency or prestigious human rights organistion wishing to visit it in order to write objective, professional, credible and ambiguity-free reports.

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