MP Al Bannai denounces allegations on Bahrain’s human rights
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Allegations on Bahrain’s human rights are fabricated lies and nothing but malicious acts and satirical plays orchestrated by some parties seeking to undermine the national achievements and cohesion.
This was the reaction of MP Ammar Ahmed Al Bannai, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee at the Council of Representatives, on allegations made in a seminar held on the sidelines of the 38th session of the Human Rights Council.
MP Al Bannai, who is also a member of the Council’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Committee, denounced the number of blatant lies, including the claim that some inmates were mistreated and tortured, and were denied access to a lawyer.
The event was organised by an organisation claiming to be interested in human rights in Bahrain, in cooperation with other organisations, under the slogan: “Bahrain must immediately release all human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience.”
The seminar also claimed that inmates in Jaw Prison were denied access to health care as a form of punishment and that the death of three prisoners over the past months was due to “health neglect”.
MP Al Bannai noted that the Bahraini citizens have always been aware of the real goals of such smear campaigns by suspicious parties, organisations and media outlets with hidden agendas that they want to achieve through attempting to disrupt the kingdom’s stability, affect its social fabric and breach its civil and peaceful traditions.
The lawmaker added that Bahrain has always been at the forefront in abiding by the principles of human rights, following its constitution and the relevant national laws, in addition to its respect for all its obligations related to international conventions on human rights.
He highlighted the kingdom’s constant keenness on ensuring the transparency of all its practices, being a pioneer in the region in allowing the representatives of embassies, diplomatic delegations, media personnel and human rights organisations to visit prisons and rehabilitation centres, drawing inspiration from the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s policy of pardon and reformation, towards a better future that embraces all social spectra.
MP Al Bannai indicated that the prisoners whose names have been repeatedly mentioned by these organisations and the media are inmates who have already been tried and convicted for criminal offences, proven even to public opinion by audio and video, and not prisoners of conscience, contrary to these allegations.
He added that Bahrain boasts an exemplary record in the region and the Arab world in treating inmates, providing them with basic services, and rehabilitating them to facilitate their social integration, as proven by the reports of the independent national institutions which carry out periodic visits to the reformation and rehabilitation facilities and detention centres. He highlighted the major strides made by Bahrain in expanding the alternative sentencing system, from which more than 3,500 individuals have benefited so far, especially after the issuance of Decree-Law 24/2021 stipulating that “the competent authority at the Ministry of Interior may request the execution judge to substitute one or more alternative punishments for the original punishment that was issued before its implementation, provided that it would not pose a threat to public security, and that the convicted person must have paid all the financial liabilities handed down against them by a criminal court unless it is impossible for them to pay.”
This, he affirmed, proves that the allegations made by these human rights organisations and the double-standard policy they adopt aim to undermine the kingdom’s stability, noting that their attempts will always be thwarted by the loyal Bahraini people.
MP Al Bannai lauded the kingdom’s criminal justice system which established many guarantees in the field of monitoring reformation, rehabilitation and pretrial detention centres, benefiting from the establishment of independent national institutions that deal with issues related to categories of inmates with all seriousness and transparency.
He indicated that any individual who has a complaint, observation or request regarding the category of inmates may resort to these institutions to investigate them and provide the best ways to respond to these requests within a legal and human rights framework, adding that the Office of the Ombudsman verifies all complaints, submits periodic reports in this regard and is keen to ensure respect for all humanitarian aspects and justice.
Transparency ... diplomats are briefed about round-the-clock healthcare services for prisoners in Jaw Prison
Visitation services for inmates are part of their reformation and rehabilitation