Bahrain regrets content of US Department of State’s report on human rights

Manama, Bahrain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs voiced regret over the false information contained in the US Department of State's 2017 report on human rights in the Kingdom, reflecting the disregard of the progress made by Manama in promoting and protecting human rights, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

"Bahrain also regrets that the report includes names of some individuals involved in criminal cases and refers to them as political or human rights activists despite that they have been convicted of crimes punishable by law and sat for a series of trials that offered all litigation guarantees, including the right to defense and independent judiciary," the ministry said in a statement.

"What is also regrettable is that the report involves baseless allegations, both in legal terms and in reality, as the kingdom respects rights and freedoms and provides all means and mechanisms of justice such as the Office of the Ombudsman, the Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission (PDRC), the Special Investigation Unit and the National Institute for Human Rights."

"The report ignores the progressing democratic practices in Bahrain, including the legislative authority's practices, freedom of expression in various media, free activities of non-governmental organizations as well respect of other civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as per the constitution, national legislation and international human rights conventions to which the Kingdom has committed itself," read the report.

"The ministry hopes that in the future such reports will be more fair and informed, and will obtain information from credible sources, institutions and stakeholders in order to be neutral and non-selective."

"In this regard, we note the great efforts being made by all the authorities in the Kingdom to ensure human rights are respected and protected and are in conformity with the national constitution and legislation as well as international human rights obligations."

"The ministry also notes the Kingdom's enjoyment of international community's appreciation as evident in its recent election to the membership on the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)."

"This is in addition to the acclaims Bahrain has received from many world countries, during the discussion of the kingdom's Third National Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council for its tangible human rights achievements."

"Bahrain affirms that it will remain fully committed to all its obligations under international human rights conventions and to cooperation with all relevant international bodies and mechanisms while Foreign Affairs Ministry will thoroughly study the content of this report and respond to it in more details later," according to the statement.

Source: International Islamic News Agency