Friday, August 2, 2013

Bahraini parliament 'legalizes human rights violations'

The Bahraini parliament

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is concerned about what it calls actions of the he Bahraini authorities’ ''to legalize human rights violations and the crackdown on activists and protesters in anticipation of “Bahrain Tamarod” on August 14th.
On Sunday 28 July, 2013, the National Assembly held a special session during which 22 recommendations were agreed upon which  restrict freedoms of expression and assembly.  They were issued in just 20 minutes of the ending of the session, which gave the impression that they had been previously prepared. Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa as head of the ruling family, readily accepted all recommendations and called for them to be promptly implemented (read more here
(See below for the complete list of 22 recommendations).
In less than 72 hours since the recommendations were made, on 2 July,  two royal decrees were issued to amend laws on the Protection of Society against Acts of Terror and Charity Fundraising regulations. The amendments on laws of protection from terror acts have provisioned harsher punishment of up to 15 years’ imprisonment, the death penalty or life, or revocation of citizenship according to the Terrorism Law.

During the extraordinary session held here today in line with Royal Order 33 for this year issued by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on July 25, members of the National Assembly agreed on the following recommendations:
1. Issuance of Decree Laws during parliament's summer recess in order to toughen penalties in the terrorism law and, if necessary, to implement such recommendations, in order to face any event requiring expediting the adoption of measures that brook no delay, and need swift actions to protect national security and stability, in line with Article 38 of the Kingdom’s Constitution.
2. Revoking the citizenship of those who carry out terrorist crimes and their instigators.
3. Inflicting tough penalties on those who incite all forms of violence and terrorism.
4. Inflicting severe punishment on all kinds and forms of violence and terror crimes.
5. Drying up all sources of terrorist financing.

6. Banning sit-ins, rallies and gatherings in the capital Manama.
 7. Taking all necessary measures, including the declaration of the State of National Safety, to impose civic security and peace whenever law is violated, the security of the citizens is compromised and private and public property is under threat.
 8. Taking legal actions against some political associations which incite and support acts of violence and terrorism.
 9. Amending Law 58 of 2006 with respect to protection of the community of against terrorist acts so as to inflict punishment on those who instigate and support terrorism.  
10. Granting the security bodies all required and appropriate powers to protect society from terror incidents and prevent spreading them.
11. Requesting Ambassadors to Bahrain not to interfere in the kingdom’s domestic affairs, in line with International Law and regulations.
12. Toughening penalties on those who involve children and exploit them in acts of terrorism and vandalism of private or public facilities.
13. Total commitment to applying all punitive laws related to combating violence and terrorism. 
14. Adherence to a balanced moderate discourse in order to preserve the social fabric of the Bahraini society.
15. Direct relevant state bodies to activate the necessary legal action against those who use social networks in an illegal way, and toughening penalties against those who use those networks to disseminate false information to foreign sides which plot against the country’s security and stability.  
16. Basic liberties, particularly freedom of opinion, should be affected so as to strike a balance between law enforcement and human rights protection.
17. Examination of the educational policies of the kingdom and review and change educational curricular in a way that protects society from violence and terrorist actions and improves the behavior of students.
18. Using the media to shed light on the dangers of terrorism and its negative impacts on national stability and economy.  
19. Backing the loyal efforts of HM the King to encourage national dialogue and push it forward, as serious national dialogue is the best means to resolve all issues and maintain national cohesion.
20. Those involved in terrorist acts shall not be covered by Royal pardon on crimes.
21. Devising an integrated national security strategy in order to be able to face all developments and supporting the efforts of those in charge of it and ensuring their protection.
22. Launching programmes to rehabilitate youths who were exploited in various crimes.

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