HM King Hamad: Bahrain will always remain a nation where the culture of tolerance
His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa sent a message to the world on the occasion of Human Rights Day that coincides with the 10th anniversary of the issuance of the first Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
HM the King said that the declaration was issued after tremendous efforts to achieve freedom, justice, progress and prosperity.
HM added that the occasion is reminiscent of the numerous sacrifices made by the forefathers since the era of Bahrain's founder Ahmed Al Fateh who put down the pillars of state building.
He said that the responsibility of the ruler at that time was solely to achieve justice, security and defence, adding that people had freedom in their properties, business and transportation.
HM said today this legacy is continued with honesty and determination in cooperation with the loyal people of Bahrain who succeeded in gaining their national rights and fought for their Arabism, protected their leadership and reinforced their homeland's sovereignty against foreign greed.
HM the King said that on this historical day, Bahrain, the kingdom of humanity and tranquility, shares the world a stance of pride in what the Bahraini people have gained of legal rights and civilizational achievements.
He lauded the Bahraini people's zeal for knowledge, hailing the role of Bahraini women in the Kingdom's progress.
He said this year's celebration of the Human Rights Day comes under the theme: ''My voice counts'', affirming that he has listened to the people's voice in launching the National Action Charter which gained public unanimity in a historic referendum.
HM asserted that the voice of the people of Bahrain has been heard during the National Dialogue which brought together all segments of the society, adding that all that has been agreed on was made a reality.
HM pointed out that hand in hand Bahrain has achieved progress and reform and reinforced democracy and rights.
HM stressed that all Bahrainis must feel proud that their voices have been heard, affirming that they received their legitimate constitutional rights under the comprehensive reform project.
He said that women have equal rights with men and that the youth are being represented by various governmental authorities.
He also added that minorities have a presence in the Shura Council, diplomatic commissions, and civil society institutions and in non-governmental organizations.
HM emphasised that residents also have constitutional rights in electing their representatives in Municipal Councils, a constitutional institution that helps achieve their service needs.
HM the King pointed out that everyone takes part in spreading the culture of human rights in the society and between labourers, employees, media and the civil society, so as to nationally solidify it.
HM added that in the kingdom of democracy, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful gathering, freedom to establish national associations and other approved legitimate constitutional rights are not kind gestures but inalienable rights guaranteed for all people.
He also said that it's a right that requires national and moral responsibility in order to be exercised, legal norms in order to safeguard our nation against division, sedition and bickering on what harms us at the expense of what benefits our country and citizens and preserves our civic peace.
He stressed that there is no good in those who harm their country and use that right as a weapon to defend falsehood against their homeland.
HM affirmed that Bahrain is the cradle of civilization throughout its long history, and its people have always welcomed respected guests from all over the world. This secure and stable country has offered serenity, tranquility and good for all.
He said today Bahrain is still faithful to the habits of the forefathers and determined to achieve more development by the strong will and determination of its people.
HM added for that reason the kingdom has opened its doors for experts and specialised sides to benefit it, increase the citizens' advantages and contribute to upgrading its development march.
HM pointed out that in order to consolidate that process, the kingdom hosted a visiting delegation from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights earlier this month to be informed about the real situation in Bahrain, which proves the state's transparency in its open-door policy with all prestigious human rights agencies that seek stability and prosperity for countries
He said human resources are Bahrain's most precious assets, and the rights and life of each one can never be compromised, expressing sadness for every drop of blood shed in Bahrain.
HM the King said all social segments need stances that enhance their unity, rapprochement and co-existence. He called on all to renounce violence and terrorism, affirming that those who think that it is difficult for Bahrain to restore its social cohesion and preserve its national and territorial unity are driven by delusion, illusion and hesitation, which have no place in the solid and brave hearts of the Bahraini citizens.
HM said all Bahrainis have turned an important page of the kingdom's human rights record, proud with the remarkable achievements of all state bodies regarding the implementation of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) recommendations.
He affirmed that such efforts aim to consolidate the kingdom's prestigious human rights status in the platforms of the United Nations and renowned international human rights organisations, which will help incorporate more social groups in public life, according to the constitution and the laws approved by two council that represent the will, visions and decisions of the people.
He said the best days will always lay ahead for the Bahraini people in light of the national projects that the state announces from time to time and require coordinated efforts in order to ensure their success.
HM added that the order which was issued to amend the National Foundation for Human Rights comes as a result of the National dialogue's visions as well as the civil society, Jurists and concerned parties' visions.
He said this institution has been given more guarantees, jurisdictions and independency according to the well-known Paris Principles and is expected to play an important role during the coming period. He added "it is hoped it will become an important source of human rights' awareness, enlightenment, expertise and advice derived from the Bahraini experience in this field."
HM affirmed that both Justice and fairness are fundamental aspects of the constitutional rule. They are also main goals in serving the country and nation as Bahrain was one of the very first countries to support the Arabian Constitution for Human Rights more than 15 years ago.
He added that Arab and international praises and positive reactions to the proposal to establish an Arab court for human rights were considered a great pleasure, as justice is the foundation of ruling.
HM asserted that it is important during this time that the civil society's institutions play a vital role in spreading the culture of human rights in a way to contribute to the national development process and share with the government the responsibility of increasing citizens' awareness of their rights and obligations in a country of law and institutions.
He urged concerned bodies in the kingdom to provide all required facilities and suitable funding for the civil society's institutions' noble national projects.
HM pointed out that authors, media personnel and intellectuals have a greater role in increasing public awareness of the need to protect youngsters from anti-national unity and civic peace rhetoric.
He said such figures contribute to the development of national work with more quality and stability in order to cater to Bahraini citizens' educational, health, housing, sustainable infrastructure needs as well as political, economic and social rights.
HM the King called on all citizens to stand together so that their voice can be heard locally and abroad, as their country is the land of rights, freedoms, justice and democracy.
He said democracy and respecting human rights are cornerstones in the comprehensive reform project through which the constitutional rights can be developed according to national and Islamic Constants as well as citizens' will.
"Bahrain will always remain an oasis of love and co-existence among different races and religions," HM pledged.