Bahrain guarantees freedom of opinion, expression
The Human Rights Affairs Minister Dr. Salah bin Ali Abdulrahman during the meeting with the representative of Amnesty International to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva Peter Splinter, said that the law in Bahrain guarantees the right to assemble and organize protests through notifying the concerned security sides without receiving licences as long as legal regulations are respected.
Dr. Salah expressed the Government of Bahrain’s constant keenness to cooperate with the concerned international human rights organizations, interact with them and build bridges of trust with them, urging those organizations to verify the information reaching them through listening to all sides and making sure that they are correct in order to give more credibility to the reports they issue.
He also affirmed that the march of human rights work in the kingdom will continue un-wavered, noting that Bahrain has made innumerable achievements regarding the institutional reforms related to the consolidation and protection of human rights since the issuance of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s order to establish the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI).
The Human Rights Minister also pointed out that the “Bahraini Spring” kick started a decade ago with the launch of HM the King’s pioneering Reform Project which laid the foundation for a modern civil state and strengthened the pillars of constitutional institutions, in line with the popular aspirations for a democratic state in which the people is the source of all authority and supremacy of the law is guaranteed.
He also explained that the kingdom’s constitution separated the three powers, adding that Bahrain boasts of an independent Judicial system in which judges are credible and transparent and suspects are guaranteed full rights to defend themselves and challenge the verdicts against them.
The Minister also affirmed that those who were convicted following the recent regretful events enjoyed fair and transparent trial in which all legal guarantors were given and representatives of embassies, diplomatic missions and international organizations and human rights associations were allowed to attend.
Dr. Salah informed Amnesty International’s Representative about the progress made so far regarding the implementation of BICI’s recommendations, as well as the kingdom’s response to the UN Human Rights Council’s recommendations.
Peter Splinter expressed Amnesty International’s condemnation of acts of violence from “all parties” and support for peaceful demonstrations organized in accordance with the law, highlighting the importance of listening to all sides and continuing interaction in order to clarify all matters.
He also proposed visiting Amnesty International’s headquarters in London to hold meetings with its officials.
Dr. Salah welcomed cooperation with Amnesty International in order to open up channels of communication with it and answer its queries, noting that he will pay a visit to Britain where he will be pleased to meet Amnesty International’s officials there.
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