Bahrain’s commitment to human rights reiterated; blatant allegations denounced

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Manama, Sep. 25 (BNA): The National Communication Centre reiterated Bahrain’s commitment to the principles of human rights, in compliance with the constitution  and national legislations, and respect of all obligations featured in the international human rights conventions.

It denounced the allegations made during a forum held on the sidelines of the 38th session of the Human Rights Council, under the theme: “Bahrain must immediately release all human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience,” which was held by an organization claiming its interest in human rights in Bahrain in cooperation with other organizations.

The aforementioned forum contained a number of blatant lies, including the allegation that some inmates were ill-treated and tortured, and denied  communication with a lawyer.

The forum alleged that inmates in Jau Prison were denied access to health care, as a form of punishment, and claimed that three inmates passed away in the past months due to "health neglect".

The NCC statement clarified the following points:

1. The prisoners whose names are repeatedly cited by these organisations and media outlets are convicted criminals, rather than prisoners of conscience, contrary to these allegations.

2. Bahrain has a model record in the region and Arab World in treating inmates, providing them with the basic services and rehabilitating them to facilitate their social integration.

3. Bahrain has achieved great strides in expanding alternative sentencing which benefited so far more than 3500 inmates, especially after the issuance of Royal Decree (24) of 2021, stipulating the following:

“The concerned authority at the Ministry of Interior may request the execution judge to substitute one or more alternative punishments for the original sentence imposed before the start of its implementation, provided that this does not pose a threat to public security, and that the convicted person has fulfilled the financial obligations imposed on him by the criminal court, unless it is impossible for him to fulfill them.”.

4. The penal system in Bahrain has established many guarantees in the field of monitoring correction and rehabilitation centers and pretrial detention, benefiting from the establishment of independent national institutions that deal with issues related to categories of inmates with all seriousness and transparency.

Any individual who has a complaint, observation or request regarding the category of inmates may resort to these institutions to investigate them and  to provide the best ways to respond to these requests within a legal and human rights framework.