UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Visit Bahrain; Hails Political Reforms
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson is due to visit Bahrain for the first time shortly, sources in Bahrain said on Saturday, according to Gulf News.
On Saturday, Robinson praised the political reforms introduced by King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. She especially hailed the steps taken by the government to advance human rights issues, release prisoners, permit Bahrainis in exile to return home and other such significant measures.
In the midst of the political changes since the introduction of the National Action Charter in December 2000, the Bahrain Human Rights Committee attended human rights issues in the island, a move that was welcomed by all concerned organizations and people throughout the country and abroad.
"The announcement made by the His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, comes on the anniversary of the decision to establish an elected legislature and a constitutional monarchy," the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated.
"I trust that these significant developments confirm the path chosen by the Kingdom of Bahrain towards the democratic process that was endorsed overwhelmingly in the referendum held last year," Robinson added.
The reforms, now enshrined in an amended constitution, also give women the right to vote and stand for election and provide for the formation of a constitutional court and an audit bureau to monitor state finances.
Robinson said she was scheduled to meet the King of Bahrain during a visit to the country from March 1 to 3, which is part of a Middle East tour, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"I hope to learn more about these important developments in the democratic process and human rights, including the steps taken to advance women's rights," she expressed.
The High Commissioner will also visit Egypt on February 27 and 28, Lebanon between March 3 and 5, Kabul on March 7-9 and Pakistan between March 10-13. (Albawaba.com)
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