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45 complaints

BAHRAIN'S main human rights organisation has registered more than 45 complaints by citizens and residents, which it says is being followed up and investigated.

National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) vice-chairman and complaints monitoring and follow up committee head Dr Abdulla Al Deerazi said they were following up these complaints with authorities concerned.

"Most of these cases have been solved or being followed up as some require more time than others," he said.

The rights activist said the complaints were registered from January 31 this year until Thursday.

"We received complaints from the online forms on our website to register grievances to even some people calling us for advice or assistance."

Dr Al Deerazi said they have posted on their website a special assistance form for citizens and residents if they are seeking help or advice.

"There is a protocol followed in registering serious complaints, which includes a lawyer present while the complainant is explaining the details."

He added that the 45 complaints were related to human rights violations directed at ministries and government bodies.

"It is our mandate to help the public at all times and we follow up every case or even guide individuals who to contact depending on the nature of their queries."

"We further continue to urge the government to co-operate with the NIHR as we will release our annual report in February next year that will be submitted to His Majesty King Hamad."

He added the "transparent" report will highlight the ministries who co-operated with them and those who did not or took more time than needed.

The NIHR was initially formed by His Majesty King Hamad in 2009, but was faced with setbacks after its head Salman Kamaluddin resigned in September 2010 amidst speculation about disagreements with some members.

It was tasked to work with the state agencies to draft Bahrain's rights reports, hold conferences and workshops, develop the country's efforts to promote human rights, contribute to training people in public freedoms and issue publications and reports.

The organisation underwent restructuring earlier this year and His Majesty King Hamad issued a Royal decree to appoint new members for a renewable four-year term.

Former MP Aziz Abul heads the NIHR, while other members include Shura Council member and former Bahrain Bar Association head Jameela Salman, who heads the civil and political rights committee, Shura Council member Dr Fawziya Saeed Saleh, who heads the economic, social and cultural rights committee and MP and Bahrain Bloc president Ahmed Al Sa'ati.

Maria Antoine El Yes Khouri, Dr Mai Sulaiman Al Otaibi, Bahrain Jurists Society senior member Abduljabbar Ahmed Al Tayyeb and lawyer and former MP Fareed Ghazi were also appointed at the organisation.

To file a complaint with the NIHR, visit www.nihr.org.bh and fill an online form or send an e-mail to complaint@nihr.org.bh.

Public can also contact on - 17111666 or fax- 17111600.

AN online petition was launched by supporters and rights groups demanding the release of Bahraini Salah Yafie, who was reportedly arrested in the UAE earlier this month.

The case is being followed by NIHR members who are urging Bahrain's Foreign Ministry to follow the case with their UAE counterparts.

"The family visited us and we explained to Salah's father that this is something outside our jurisdiction. But we urge the Foreign Ministry in Bahrain to use diplomatic channels to follow up this case." According to online reports, Mr Yafie was arrested at Dubai International Airport for a controversial tweet. However, there is no official confirmation on this announced by authorities.

The Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society has also taken up the case and contacted rights groups and officials in the UAE to secure the release of Mr Yafie.

An online petition demanding his release had already received more than 300 signatures.



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