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NIHR Rejects Publishing Names & Photos of Suspects before the Issuance of Final Verdicts.

Manama, June 13. (BNA) -- The National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) has renewed its categorical rejection of the repeated publication of the names and photos of suspects in official media and daily newspapers, calling upon all the concerned sides to be committed to the provisions of the kingdom's Constitution whose Article 20 stipulates that " An accused person is innocent until proved guilty in a legal trial in which he is assured of the necessary guarantees to exercise the right of defence at all stages of the investigation and trial in accordance with the law" (paragraph (c) ) and that "It is forbidden to harm an accused person physically or mentally" (paragraph (d)).

NIHR also asked the relevant sides to adhere to the provisions of Article (38) of Legislative decree No.(46) of 2002 with respect to promulgating the code of

Criminal Procedures, which says that "Investigation procedures and the results arising therefrom shall be deemed confidential".

The NIHR emphasised that the publication of the names and photos of suspects was a clear violation of the first paragraph of Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which stipulates that: "Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence", and the second paragraph of Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) stipulating that "Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law".

NIHR also said that publishing the names and photos of those accused in the case of the "14th of February" Organisation contradicted the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), ratified by the kingdom in 1990, which stipulate that the right to the presumption of innocence "means that public authorities, particularly prosecutors and police, should not make statements about the guilt or innocence of an accused before the outcome of the trial" and that "the authorities have a duty to prevent the news media or other powerful social groups from influencing the outcome of a case by pronouncing on its merits. In accordance with the presumption of innocence, the rules of evidence and conduct of a trial must ensure that the prosecution bears the burden of proof throughout a trial."


BNA 1615 GMT 2013/06/13

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Publication:Bahrain News Agency
Date:Jun 13, 2013
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