The National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) held here today a lecture on "The Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression", delivered by the member of the board of the Arab Centre for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Education (ACIHL) Mahmoud Mohammed Qandeel.
NIHR's Chairman Dr. Abdulaziz Abul made a statement in which he highlighted the importance of the lecture, held as part of NIHR's annual plan to upgrade human rights in the kingdom through forums and workshops aimed to promoting human rights awareness among the citizens and residents.
He said that NIHR's Commissioners Council had approved NIHR's strategy for 2013-2016, which focuses mainly on spreading the human rights culture through organsising many workshops, lectures and forums in order to improve human rights practices among members of the Bahraini society.
He pointed out that lectures and seminars aim also to achieve NIHR's main goals of protecting human rights and commitment to international standards.
He said that freedom of opinion in Bahrain has developed significantly since the issuance of the first Press Law in 1952 during the era of the Late Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the country's ruler then, noting that it was boosted further in 1954 with the issuance of a new Press Law regulating the right of local press to publish media content, and then was enriched by pioneering press experiences.
He emphasised that freedom of expression in the kingdom has made unprecedented qualitative leaps since His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa's Accession to the Throne, noting that during HM the King's prosperous era, the Royal Reform Project was launched and the current Press, Printing and Publication Law was issued in 2002.
He pointed out that freedom of expression has flourished during HM King Hamad's glorious era in an unprecedented way, and covered not only the press and publication, but also included the right to establish political associations, trade unions and NGOs.
Then, Mahmoud Mohammed Qandeel delivered a lecture in which he affirmed the importance of freedoms of opinion and expression and the rights that guarantee them.
He shed light on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well some articles from the Bahraini constitution that guarantee the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
In the end of the event, Secretary-General of NIHR Dr. Ahmed Abdulla Farhan presented Dr. Mahmoud Qandeel with NIHR's shield.