The Ministry of Human Rights Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain responded to a statement issued on August 23rd by three UN experts concerning the case of Bahraini citizen Nabeel Rajab.
The statement issued by the Ministry included the following points:
The Kingdom of Bahrain respects Nabeel Rajab as a citizen defending human rights, as well as his human rights activities. He was not prosecuted for expressing his opinion or exercising his legitimate freedoms and rights. He participated previously in tens of protests and activities, and the authorities did not act against him because his activities were within law. However, when he broke law, the authorities have a legitimate right to prosecute him to protect the rights of others.
The issue in the case of Rajab is not participation in peaceful protests as was stated in the press release dated 23 August 2012. The real issue is not about him complying with the law and regulations that allow for peaceful protests. The Kingdom of Bahrain witnessed dozens of peaceful protests and the Ministry is ready to provide statistics for the distinguished experts upon their request.
Rajab was accorded the right to a fair trial, as evidenced most clearly by the presence of his lawyer throughout the judicial process; his right to appeal the sentencing that has been given; and the publicizing the courtís verdict, thereby upholding the principles of transparency and accountability.
Rajab is currently facing five cases before court, one of which has been challenged by his lawyers, who succeeded in turning its verdict in his favor. This demonstrates that the judicial process in Bahrain is fair, independent, and transparent. Moreover, his lawyers have the opportunity to challenge the other cases before court.
The Ministry of Human Rights Affairs believes that this statement is based on distorted information that does not reflect the real situation in the case of Rajab. Therefore, it hopes that now — at a time of healing in the country — external actorsí will contribute positively by encouraging all parties in Bahrain to recognize the importance of dialogue in order to reconcile the divisions in society created by the 2011 events.
4 Ministries Offer their Services via the National Contact Center
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Ė September 1st, 2012 Ė As part of the Government of Kingdom of Bahrainís commitment to provide accessible and innovative services, and undertaken efforts and initiatives to develop the current eServices; citizens and residents can now communicate with a number of ministries through a unified number (8000 8001) to gain easy, prompt access to various public services treated as high confidential. Such ministries include the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Culture, and Ministry of Social Development.
This step makes a positive contribution as it enables clients to gain integrated, high quality services via one number. The National Contact Center (NCC) is a tool that helps the government of Bahrain to improve services provided to citizens, residents, visitors and businesses.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce presents a wide range of services through the National Contact Center (8000 8001). Such services comprise the commercial registration applications follow up and inquiry, agencies inquiry, and the daily price index. The National Contact Center also provides information related to licensing regulations, and legal regulations of setting up businesses.
The Ministry of Culture offers callers a schedule of all the cultural events and information that are needed by tourists and citizens; along with the working hours and weather forecast. Such information include hotels, furnished apartments, restaurants, sightseeing attractions, in addition to the accessible means of transport such as taxis, car rentals and airlines, along with all the details required by tourists before entering Bahrain; such as entry visa rules and fees, as well as the prohibited and restricted items that are not to be carried into the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Housing has launched a batch of services through the National Contact Center to enable users to follow up on housing application status, booking appointments for new applications then requesting to send the applications via post, and enquire related to those applying for a new housing service. Furthermore, it automated appointment scheduling to save users time; reduce the load at the ministry and ensure the delivery of high-quality and efficient services.
The Ministry of Social Development provides a variety of smooth accessible services to citizens through the National Contact Center, ensuring to keep their privacy and confidentiality of information. The ministry provides easy access to all information related to financial support, family and childhood development, NGOs, rehabilitation programs, and social assistance.