Bahrain gets tougher on police attackers
Manama, May 9, 2012
Members of Bahrain’s parliament condemned attacks on the kingdom’s police force as they approved tougher punishments for those waging violence against the security services.
They passed government-proposed amendments to the Penal Code that include life sentences for anyone who kills a member of the security services, even if the death was unintentional.
Several MPs said the death penalty should have been included for anyone who intentionally causes the death of security personnel, arguing that was the best way to restore peace and stability.
However, under Bahraini law deliberate killings already carry the maximum sentence of death.
During yesterday's (May 8) session MPs agreed to issue a statement condemning the bomb attack on four policemen in Bani Jamra on Saturday morning, describing it as a planned and calculated terrorist act.
They also urged the government to take action against clergymen who incite people to commit such crimes.
However, parliament public utilities and environment affairs committee chairman Hassan Al Dossary disputed statements by the Interior Ministry saying that explosive devices used in attacks were made locally.
"I assure everyone that they (bombs) are being imported and the evidence is that if they were being made locally, Bahrain would have been a weapons manufacturing country that could be a force in the international market," he claimed.
"Some of the terrorists in Bani Jamra use guns and live bullets in their attacks on policemen and if the government doesn't arm security personnel, we will volunteer to provide them with what they need - as we did when we helped the Education Ministry when teachers boycotted classes during the unrest."
Judge Khalid Ajjaj told MPs that the amendments they approved yesterday were not only designed to protect security personnel, but also their attackers who could now be less inclined to take up violence.
"Those tougher punishments ensure that security personnel are protected and at the same time attackers are protected from the evilness within themselves," he said.
The amendments to Bahrain's Penal Code state that those who intentionally cause permanent disability to a member of the security apparatus would face a minimum sentence of 10 years.
If the attack unintentionally caused permanent disability the culprit would face a minimum seven-year jail sentence. They would also mean anyone involved in attacks on police could be jailed for up to 10 years, even if no injuries were sustained.
The amendments approved yesterday were proposed by the government and apply to attacks on policemen, BDF and National Guard personnel, as well as National Security Agency operatives. They must now be reviewed by the Shura Council. – TradeArabia News Service