Bahrain Embassy in London holds a virtual panel discussion on Alternative Punishment Law
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United Kingdom, Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, has affirmed that the alternative punishment law, currently in effect in the Kingdom of Bahrain comes in line with the directives of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to consolidate the principles of human rights and continue the development of all legislations and laws that contribute to the protection and advancement of citizens.
This came at the opening of the virtual panel discussion held by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the United Kingdom under the theme of “the experience of the Kingdom of Bahrain in applying the alternative punishment law”.
It was held with the participation of a large number of MPs, lords, interested persons, academics and representatives of the UK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the countries to which the embassy is accredited in addition of Shaikh Khalid bin Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Director of the Law Enforcement Department at the Ministry of Interior.
This symposium is the third of its kind in the series of events held by the embassy, to tackle a number of important topics, where the Ambassador outlined the Kingdom of Bahrain's promotion and protection of human rights through a set of regulations and legislations that are compatible with international laws and shed light on its establishment of Human rights bodies to oversee and follow up the implementation of these laws, including the alternative penal code in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which is considered one of the pioneering programs in the region.
In a related context, Shaikh Khalid bin Rashid Al Khalifa reviewed the application of the law on alternative penalties, and the mechanism for approving and transferring the alternative punishment from the judiciary to the executive, as well as the types and arrangements of alternative penalties that are carried out according to the type of crimes and the difference between a case and another.
He emphasized that the process the importance of following up cases even after the completion of the punishment and providing the necessary support for inmates who return to society as one of the main focal issues, adding that the Ministry of the Interior has future plans put in place and after a year and a half in effect, this punishment has benefited more than 2,700 people.
It has been a social success in that it provides a second opportunity for the perpetrators of violations to correct their situation through this program, which seeks to enhance skills, build capacities and provide decent living opportunities in lieu of the traditional punishment methods, he said.
For his part, the Prosecutor Ahmed Hamad Al-Fadhil touched on the adoption of the Alternative Punishment Law in 2017, and the importance of such laws in terms of supporting the work of the judiciary.
He also examined the various legislations for the use of the law and the mechanisms used in issuing judgments, explaining the objectives of the implementation of the law that include reduction of the number of inmates, especially in minor violations, taking into account the social and humanitarian dimension in such cases.
Al-Fadhil emphasized that the application and type of punishment depends on the type of violation and the skills that the violator possesses to enable them to return to society later and merge naturally, adding that the judge will consider all these cases along with the consequences before approving the type of alternative punishment and raise it to the Public Prosecution.
The Minister of Defense of the British shadow government and head of the International Cooperation Group in the British Parliament, Khaled Mahmoud, expressed his appreciation of the Bahraini experience in implementing the alternative penal law, and wished it would spread regionally and internationally for benefit, expressing his thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain for holding such seminars to share different experiences.
Former British Minister of State for the Middle East Affairs, Alistair Burt, praised the experience of the Kingdom of Bahrain, stressing the importance of highlighting this pioneering experience in the field of alternative sanctions and sharing it with the GCC countries.
The symposium included the presentation of a short film, prepared by the Bahraini Ministry of Interior on the application of the alternative punishment law, including some experiences and personal cases of beneficiaries of the law enforcement during the past year and a half.