Expatriates being detained even after completing their prison sentence and those facing travel bans, non-payment of salaries and residency violations were among complaints registered last year with Bahrain’s main rights body.
The National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) is now planning to meet Asian and Arab diplomats next week to discuss its annual report for 2013, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It highlights foreign women as vulnerable and potential victims of “exploitation by employers, particularly in the tourism and hotel sector… for the purposes of prostitution and sexual exploitation”.
The report also recommended all parties engage in a national dialogue and renounce violence, warning that divisions in society and a rise of sectarianism were a major threat to the social fabric.
“Dialogue is the language to ensure eliminating the crisis faced by the country, with placing full confidence in the leadership of the Crown Prince to contain the crisis,” said the report.
The report also highlighted corruption as a key challenge that threatens economic growth.
Recommendations included setting a date for the visit by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Juan Mendez and legal accountability procedures for all decision makers in cases of death in detention.
Meanwhile, the report recommends clear and transparent criteria for prompt disbursement of compensation to those proven to have sustained injury.
Alleged medical negligence resulting in death was also highlighted.
“NIHR was most concerned about the successive occurrence of these cases during a short period of time,” said the report.
“While NIHR appreciates the investigations conducted by the (Health) Ministry and taking legal action against the perpetrators, however, the occurrence and repetition of these errors demonstrate that there is a vacuum in the effective monitoring of health services provided or the quality thereof, and lack of experience, competence, training and performance development.”
It called for solutions to prevent fatalities among sickle cell patients, with 32 deaths last year, and raises concerns about overcrowding in public schools – with class sizes ranging from 28 to 36 students.
The report also called for more rights for women, the elderly and children, as well as a ban on publishing the names and photographs of criminal suspects before a final judgment.