Establishing Office for Human Rights Complaints

In a step, which has been described by human rights organisations as 'positive', the Interior Ministry has set up an office dedicated to receiving complaints and suggestions regarding human rights and concerning the Ministry's management of human rights issues. The Ministry's Inspector, Colonel Ibrahim Al Gaith, said that the aim of the office is to 'support human rights principles, reinforce them on the ground and to spread a culture supporting human rights through abiding by state laws, as well as scrutinizing the course of the Ministry's work with transparency'.

Gaith also guaranteed that all complaints would be dealt with in an efficient and confidential manner, and that necessary measures would be taken by putting into action a work mechanism which would enable the office to work around the clock. He added that office employees are trained and competent and that work standards have been placed by experts in the Ministry, and are in line with international standards.

He added that the office will receive all complaints either over the phone, in person, in writing and even through the media, and that the Ministry has also allocated a telephone line and fax for complaints. The Ministry is also preparing to launch a new website for the same purpose, in addition to distributing suggestion boxes to all directorates, departments and police stations.

In 2008, the Interior Ministry established a department for complaints and human rights. Objectives of the department include taking necessary legal and administrative procedures to limit human rights violations or stop them; preparing research and studies; providing information; organising seminars and training courses and preparing the necessary reports.