Workshop on safeguards against torture and other ill-treatments

21 Jun 2010

 The Kingdom of Bahrain re-confirmed its  commitment to the protection of human rights by hosting a two-day workshop on Safeguards against Torture and Other Ill-treatments. The aim of the workshop was to deepen the understanding and functioning of safeguards against torture as they are enshrined in international law and to encourage participants to reflect on national law and practice in the light of these international standards.

In a ceremony to mark the opening of the workshop, H.E. Dr. Nezar Al Baharna, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, affirmed that this workshop was part of the efforts of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the protection and promotion of human rights on its territory, and its commitment to the implementation of voluntary pledges and recommendations to the Human Rights Council. “The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain guarantees human rights at all levels of political, civil and social rights and provides that no person shall be a victim of physical or mental torture, enticement or degrading treatment. This workshop … will touch upon many important topics that help humanity to progress and maintain their rights.”

Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Firas Gharaibeh, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, stated that “States must take persistent and effective measures to prevent and combat all acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. These acts should be considered offences under domestic criminal law.” He went on to thank the Government of Bahrain and its leadership for taking bold steps in meeting their pledges and commitments regarding human rights.

The workshop was organized by UNDP and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; with representatives from the Swiss-based Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) conducting the training. APT is an independent, politically neutral NGO that specializes in initiatives for the prevention of torture.
Participants from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and the Public Prosecution participated in the workshop and engaged in various sessions on why we need safeguards, and safeguards in Bahraini legislation and practice. They concluded with drafting some concrete recommendations on how safeguards against torture can be further strengthened in Bahrain.