Progress & Actions
On (b) the External Legal Experts have advised that “effective monitoring by an independent body” of detention facilities could be carried out by the National Human Rights Institution, provided it is established in accordance with the Paris Principles. Cabinet has before it draft legislation for the establishment of the NHRI in accordance with the Paris Principles. This legislation expressly envisages, at Article 5(b), that the NHRI would monitor detention facilities.
The MOI signed a memorandum of understanding with the ICRC on 8 December 2011. The ICRC is conducting visits of all detention facilities and will be giving advice and assistance to the MOI in its reform efforts.
A new detention centre was opened in January 2012 at Dry Dock prison. This will be where all detainees charged with offences but not yet convicted will be held. The centre will be supervised by the Inspector-General at the MOI, moving to the authority outside the MoI in due course, as advised by the External Legal Experts.
On (a) and (c), further to the order of the Minister of Interior dated 22 December 2011, a new procedure was put in place whereby all those arrested must co-sign (with the arresting/supervising officer) a document listing the arrestees’ rights. The checklist includes a box that reminds the officer that
(a) an arrest warrant must be shown to the arrestee (with a copy also made available);
(b) the arrestee must also be given the right to call their lawyer immediately; and
(c) family visits should be recorded and allowed in accordance with Bahrain Code of Criminal Procedure. The checklist is electronic and saved on a central system; the files and the police stations will be the subject of random checks by senior officers.