Recommendation 1722 (k)

To compensate and provide remedies for all victims of torture, ill-treatment or prolonged incommunicado detention. In this connection, the Commission welcomes the Royal Decree Law N0. 30 of 2011 for the establishment of the National Fund for the Reparation of Victims on 22 September 2011.

Status

A "National Victims Compensation Fund" was established, but a recent Royal Decree severely restricts eligibility for a disbursement: when filing, a victim must include a copy of a final court decision convicting a specific perpetrator. Given the potentially long duration of the appeals process, and the small number of cases currently being prosecuted and investigated relative to the number of victims, it is unlikely that this fund will ever pay out much compensation.

The government has recently proposed two other mechanisms for compensation: the Special Compensation Court, which is designed to expidite civil claims against the state, and the Civil Settlement Initiative, where a panel in the Justice Ministry will be set up to receive demands and offer out-of-court settlements. Details are thin on both of these mechanisms, so compliance with this recommendation cannot be judged.

Government Claim

(source: www.govactions.bh on 3/3/2012)

There are three mechanisms in place:

(1) Decree 13 of 2012 was issued on 26 January 2012. It creates a national victims. compensation fund which will be managed by a new committee which will be composed of five individuals appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council. This committee will receive and consider all requests for compensation. It is empowered to award whatever form of compensation it sees fit. It may therefore award financial compensation, or order that an apology be given to the victim, or require that steps are taken by the relevant body to ensure that the abuse does not occur again.

The Decree is modelled on international best practices for victims funds around the world and the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Redress and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law.

Two further mechanisms have been established in response to the recommendation of the National Commission to expedite access to compensation:

(2) The Supreme Judicial Council announced on 27 February 2012 the establishment of Special Compensation Courts (SCC). The compensation fund requires a criminal judgment against an individual before compensation can be sought. But for complaints against the state (where no one individual is identified) a civil judgment would be required against the relevant agency, which could take considerable time. The SCC will expedite such claims against the state.

(3) In a further sign to expedite claims outside the court by way of a quick settlement, the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs launched the .Civil Settlement Initiative.. Under this initiative applicants can settle their claims quickly and in a consensual manner. The initiative is aimed at families of deceased victims and those who were injured last year and who would otherwise have to rely on civil court judgment against the state to obtain any sort of relief. The aim is to settle such claims as quickly as possible within months. Compensation will be awarded in accordance with amounts set within the law for deaths and injuries.

Recommendation 1722 (k)
Compensate all victims of torture, ill-treatment, or prolonged incommunicado detention
Status: No Details
Government claim: In Progress

Summary:

  • Implementation Three compensation mechanisms established
  • No Details One mechanism was effectively killed by Royal Decree, and no details are available on the other two mechanisms