Rights of prisoners and detainees

The Kingdom of Bahrain has strong mechanisms for political participation through its legislative authorities, which are divided into two chambers, the Council of Representatives and the Shura Council. It strengthened its human rights system by affirming the independence of the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) in accordance with the Paris Principles; establishing the Ombudsman at the Ministry of Interior; the Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission (PDRC); the Special Investigation Unit of the Public Prosecution; and the independence of the Inspector General Office in the Ministry of Interior.

Alternative penalties for convicts

The Kingdom of Bahrain provides prisoners and convicts with the opportunity to right their wrongs and be reintegrated into society through the adoption and implementation of an Alternative Penalties and Procedures Law (PDF, 420KB, 7 pages), which approves new types of punishments as alternatives to those that deprive freedoms.

The law is a major step towards the protection and promotion of human rights and is one of the Kingdom’s most important legislative achievements. It contributes to:

  • Maintaining the stability of communities and families.
  • Disciplining offenders and prompting them to abandon their criminal behaviours and not to repeat them in the future.
  • Preserving the public perception of society and its right to the punishment of perpetrators.
  • Rehabilitating convicts so that they may regain their positions in society.
  • Providing convicts with skills and a sense of security and responsibility.

The Kingdom of Bahrain is achieving the basic objectives of the Alternative Penalties and Procedures Law through two training programs offered by the Crime Prevention Directorate:

  • ‘Tamam’ programme for the rehabilitation and integration of convicts into society.
  • The ‘Same’a’ program, a platform for working for the public good.

Open prisons, a great step forward for human rights

The open prisons approach adopted by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain reinforces:

  • The importance of self-rehabilitation
  • Reduction of crime rates
  • Reduction of pressure on rehabilitation centres
  • Maintaining a balance between services provided to inmates without any abuses in law enforcement
  • Administration of justice
  • Preservation of the social fabric

Efforts taken during the coronavirus pandemic

Precautionary measures were put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus, ensure social distancing, and avoid gatherings to preserve the wellbeing of inmates and their families. Bahrain has implemented a wide range of decisions and precautionary measures which contributed greatly to reducing the negative effects caused by the virus in prisons, including:

  • Activating and operating a videoconferencing service between inmates and their families, with the aim of reducing visits.
  • Carrying out comprehensive and daily disinfection and sterilisation operations in all correctional and rehabilitation centres.
  • Providing medical supplies and hygiene tools to inmates.
  • Providing temperature measuring devices at all gates.
  • Providing visitors with the necessary sanitary tools, including gloves, sterilisation materials, and masks.
  • Medically examining new inmates and isolating them in a designated building for 14 days to ensure their health before allowing them to join the prison population.
  • Providing telemedicine consultation services between inmates and consultant doctors, in coordination with the Ministry of Health.


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Content Last Updated: 26 Feb, 2023

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