NIHR report on violations to be released
Manama, June 4, 2014
A report documenting alleged human rights violations faced by Bahrainis and expatriates since the unrest in 2011 has been completed.
The first report of the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) will be released in Arabic and English after being submitted to Bahrain's leadership, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
NIHR vice-chairman and complaints monitoring and follow-up committee head Dr Abdulla Aldeerazi said the report singles out government bodies that refused to co-operate.
The report, which documents various claims including torture allegations, will be uploaded to the NIHR website www.nihr.org.bh.
"This is our first annual report that not only lists human rights violations, but also names government bodies and institutions that did not co-operate with us in our investigation of complaints received," he told the GDN.
The GDN reported in February that the rights body registered 45 complaints of torture and mistreatment between January last year and January this year.
Members of the NIHR continue to investigate the allegations and have made several visits to prisons to assess conditions.
They have also conducted field visits to monitor environmental factors in Buhair Valley and Qalali.
The NIHR was formed by His Majesty King Hamad in 2009 to draft rights reports, hold conferences and workshops and promote human rights in Bahrain.
It was restructured last year and new members were appointed for a renewable four-year term.
However, it is now getting even greater powers after the Shura Council on Monday followed MPs' lead and approved changes to a law establishing the NIHR.
Once the changes are ratified by the King, the NIHR's board will be increased from nine to 11 members, with representatives of different communities, women and minorities.
It will be tasked with coming up with a national strategy to improve human rights protection, making recommendations and studying existing laws to ensure they comply with Bahrain's international obligations.
The NIHR will also present shadow reports to accompany government submissions on the international stage, have the right to monitor human rights violations, advise bodies concerned, receive complaints, offer assistance to authorities and take part in international conferences.
Its members will also continue prison visits and conduct investigations commissioned by the King, with powers to report government bodies that fail to provide documents, information and data to the Cabinet.
NIHR president and Shura Council member Dr Abdulaziz Abul revealed this week that the body would seek recognition from the United Nations Human Rights Council later this month.
People can report complaints to the NIHR by completing a form on its website www.nihr.org.bh or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. - TradeArabia News Service