NIHR Chief: Human rights among Bahrain’s national fundamentals

Manama, Chairperson of the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR), Maria Khoury, has stressed that Bahrain is interested in human rights as they are an integral part of the national fundamentals, noting that guaranteeing civil and political rights and liberties emanates from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s sound vision.


She underlined the importance of ensuring justice, equality and dignity for all human beings, without distinction, stressing that the culture of human rights respect has become a lifestyle in the Kingdom of Bahrain.


“The NIHR presented its views on the National Human Rights Plan a year and a half ago to the legislative branch, and made outstanding steadfast strides in this regard. We never looked back,” she said, adding that “human rights have existed in the kingdom since ancient times as a culture deeply rooted in the people of Bahrain, and the country has joined seven out of nine international human rights covenants.”


Khoury pointed out that Bahrain boasts a distinguished record in ensuring the rights of people with disabilities, the rights of health, education and housing, noting that the novel coronavirus pandemic has showcased the Kingdom’s positive and humane treatment of patients on equal par, as it has not discriminated against any of those living on its lands, be it citizens or residents.


She indicated that the NIHR is keen to constantly consult with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Legislative Branch on various issues, noting that Article (12) of its law stipulates that it is free to comment on any issue related to human rights, and that it may participate in the production and implementation of a national plan for the promotion and protection of Human Rights in the Kingdom, promote and spread awareness on human rights and ensure their exercise freely and independently.



She pointed out that since the issuance of the Royal Order 20/2013 on establishing the Council of Commissioners at the NIHR, and the formation of the three standing committees, namely the Complaint, Monitoring and Follow-up Committee, the General Rights and Freedoms Committee and the Detention and Facilities Visitation Committee, the NIHR has sought to achieve its founding goals of protecting and developing human rights in Bahrain.


The NIHR receives human rights-related complaints in the kingdom, examines human rights legislation and systems and submits the recommendations it deems necessary, issues publications, data and reports, as well as cooperates with the relevant national entities and international organisations, she added.


Meanwhile, MP Zainab Abdulameer, said that the consolidation of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s Reform Approach and ensuring rights and freedoms for everyone in the kingdom, citizens and residents, have contributed to achieving pioneering qualitative human rights achievements that have enhanced the kingdom’s standing in the field of human rights.


She highlighted the importance the kingdom attaches to human rights, through spreading their culture among its society, ratifying international treaties, issuing the necessary legislation, establishing the national human rights and the Ombudsman, stepping up efforts to combat trafficking in persons, approving the Alternative Penalties Law and developing the rehabilitation and reformation facilities.


She said that the accession of Bahrain to the membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council is a compelling evidence of the tremendous efforts it is making under the leadership of HM King Hamad, to promote rights and guarantee freedoms.


She also indicated that the integrated human rights system is one of the most prominent byproducts of the comprehensive development process, led by HM the King, who laid solid foundations to achieve that, and established the democratic approach in 2002 with the aim of strengthening the state of institutions and law and preserving the rights of all.


She noted that the Foreign Ministry’s laying of the basis of the National Human Rights Plan adds to the steps and initiatives taken by the kingdom to strengthen its human rights system and enhance its leadership in this regard.


Source: Bahrain News Agency

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