Manama: Bahrain held the 5th meeting of the Human Rights Working Group virtually with the European Union’s External Action Service (EEAS).
The Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Abdulla bin Faisal bin Jabur Al Doseri, presented Bahrain, in the presence of Bahraini Ambassador to Belgium, Dr. Bahia Jawad Al Jishi.
The European side was chaired by Gabriel Vinales, Director General of the Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign Employment Authority, in the presence of, the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegate accredited to Bahrain, residing in Riyadh, Ambassador Michele Cervone D’urso.
The assistant minister praised the Kingdom’s pioneering accomplishments in many areas of protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, starting with the reform approach of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, adding the efforts of the Government Action Plan (2019-2022), and the Economic Vision 2030.
He Emphasized that this meeting comes within the framework of the Kingdom’s keenness to strengthen and develop bilateral relations with the EU, to consolidate joint work and exchange technical, professional and training experiences, in protecting and promoting human rights.
Al Doseri highlighted that cooperation with EU will lead to achieving the goals of sustainable development in the context of the Kingdom’s commitment to its human rights obligations, and to submit periodic reports to the United Nations (UN) and its specialized agencies.
He also reviewed Bahrain’s efforts in protecting human rights within the framework of combating the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, and the success of the national efforts made by the National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus led by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The assistant minister stressed the importance of international cooperation and solidarity in facing these challenges and respecting human rights when implementing measures to combat this pandemic.
Al Doseri said that Kingdom has consistently chosen balanced measures to ensure the rights of individuals and protect the safety of society, as Bahrain was keen not to impose any unnecessary and disproportionate restrictions, but rather motivated citizens and residents to stay in their homes and away from gatherings to maintain safety and prevention without imposing a lockdown ban around the kingdom, in addition to providing free medical care and services to all citizens and residents alike, and issuing a decision requiring the suspension of fees for health services provided to foreign patients in government health centers.
He praised the Royal Decree issued by His Majesty the King, on March 12, for the amnesty of those convicted on humanitarian grounds and under the current circumstances, as the number of those covered by the high amnesty reached 901 prisoner, This is based on a comprehensive study conducted by Interior Ministry on the conditions of the reform and rehabilitation inmates who are serving sentences, with a view to determining who meets the substantive and legal conditions, and in light of the provisions of the law and principles of international human rights agreements taking into account the inmates who need special care.
The Health Ministry Undersecretary Dr. Walid Khalifa Al Mana, reviewed Bahrain’s efforts in protecting the rights of all citizens and residents, and ensuring their right to access health services and treatment.
He confirmed that the national medical team is continuing its efforts according to an integrated plan to deal with all developments related to Covid-19, pointing out that Bahrain ranks 3rd in the world in terms of conducting early checks in society through the “nasal smear.
Al Mana also reviewed the efforts made by Health Ministry in raising the absorptive capacity of isolation and treatment centers to 4,257 beds, confirming that work continues in advance and proactive strategies to keep pace of all scenarios, all of which in the implementation of the directives of HRH the Crown Prince.
The European side praised the level of cooperation and coordination between the Kingdom and the EU on all levels, highlighting the importance of holding meetings with the European Union’s external action body to develop bilateral relations.
They welcomed the royal pardon issued by His Majesty the King for the right of a number of prisoners, and the efforts of Bahrain to protect the rights of EU citizens in the framework of combating the coronavirus pandemic, expressing the importance of continuing cooperation in many humanitarian fields of common concern.
The meeting discussed cooperation between the two sides in holding workshops on an expert level in the field of preparing the national human rights action plan, the use of artificial intelligence in the promotion and protection of human rights, and the exchange of experiences in the field of tolerance, peaceful coexistence, freedom of religion and belief, ending with the role of the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence, along with capacity building and technical cooperation in the field of freedom of opinion and expression and the advancement of women.
The assistant minister affirmed that Bahrain is continuing to support human rights, and the work of national protection mechanisms in accordance with a modern methodology and an evolving national strategy stemming from the reform approach of HM King, and its cultural and civilizational values and its democratic principles rooted in respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in light of democratic participation, the advancement of Bahraini women, freedom of opinion, expression, and the promotion of the foundations of equality and the rule of law.
Source: Bahrain News Agency