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Amended NIHR Law unprecedented step to protect human rights’
06 : 37 PM - 11/10/2016
Manama, Oct. 11 (BNA): The Royal Decree on amending the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR)’ Law has been described as a regional pioneering and unprecedented step to consolidate human rights.

Commenting on the issuance of Decree 20/2016 amending some of the provisions of the Law 26/2014 regarding establishment of the National Institution of Human Rights, human rights activists and jurists affirmed that HM the King is the first defender of human rights in the kingdom.

They affirmed that the recent amendments have made the Law on NIHR a role model across the GCC and the Arab world, noting that they have granted the NIHR wider powers and clear legal responsibilities to exercise its role and duties.

In this regard, the NIHR President, Dr. Abdulaziz Abul described the royal decree as a major step to develop human rights protection in the kingdom and strengthen the work of the NIHR which, he said, was established by HM King Hamad to improve the human rights situation in the country.

Dr. Abul extended warmest thanks and appreciation to HM the King for the “pioneering” step which transformed the Law on NIHR from an advanced law to a role model to be emulated at the GCC and Arab levels.

He explained that although the existing law allowed the NIHR to assume its role independently and without obstacles, being more advanced compared to other laws in Arab countries, the recent amendments sought to improve the NIHR’s work, in line with the kingdom’s belief in the importance of human rights.

Law Professor, Dr. Ahmed Farhan asserted that the existing law is already advanced, but the recent amendments were introduced to improve the work of the NIHR and cope with the developments in implementing the concepts and principles of human rights in the world.

He affirmed that the amendments will strengthen the NIHR’s role and responsibilities, noting that the NIHR is now legally able to assume its duties in protecting the citizens and residents from any human rights violations.

On her part, Criminal Law Professor at the University of Bahrain, Dr. Nora Shamlan, said that the royal decree adds to the rich record of landmark human rights achievements attained under the HM the King’s pioneering Reform Project, stressing that the amendments allow the NIHR to work transparently and independently, and to make announced and unannounced visits, in line with the leadership’s resolve to achieve the highest levels of human rights protection.

Dr. Al-Shamlan affirmed that the royal decree on amending the NIHR’s Law is a regional precedent as it ensured the independence of the NIHR in dealing with the Legislative Branch, noting that Bahrain has voluntarily responded to the remarks featuring in the report of the Sub Committee on Accreditation (SCA), out of its belief in the need to protect and consolidate human rights.

Human rights activist and academician at the UoB, Abdul Jabbar Al-Tayyab that the wider powers granted to the NIHR, in line with the recommendations of the Sub Committee on Accreditation (SCA), reflect a royal desire to deepen the role of the NIHR as a guarantor of human rights and freedoms.

He added that the issuance of decree-law proves that the issue of human rights is given top priority by the leadership.
Head of the Private Law Department at the UoB’s Faculty of Law, Dr. Mohammed Al-Anzi, extended deepest thanks to HM King Hamad for issuing a royal decree on amending the NIHR’s Law, noting that the much-awaited amendments will improve the NIHR’s work and consolidate its role and status.

He indicated that the amendments are within the principles embedded in the kingdom’s constitution, and aim to promote human rights and principles in the kingdom, which, he said, testifies to the leadership’s interest in developing human rights legislation.

He affirmed that the royal decree on strengthening the role of the NIHR refutes the allegations indicating that human rights are not respected in the Middle East.

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