Bahrain's tough anti-terror laws backed
Manama, August 2, 2013
Top Bahrain community figures yesterday backed urgently passed laws that could see people convicted of carrying out fatal bomb attacks given the death penalty, said a report.
The punishment was included in two decrees issued by His Majesty King Hamad on Wednesday in an attempt to reduce growing levels of street violence, said the Gulf Daily News report.
They state anyone convicted of causing injury as a result of bombings or attempting to carry them out will also be jailed for no less than 10 years.
People caught collecting money for terrorist acts face a minimum 10-year sentence and up to life in prison and fines ranging from BD100,000 to BD500,000.
The Public Prosecution will also have the right to inspect bank accounts related to individuals or groups involved in terrorist acts.
Citizenship can be revoked from anyone involved in acts of terrorism, but only when the decision has been ratified by King Hamad.
The new laws follow the passing of 22 recommendations aimed at combating terrorism during a rare extraordinary National Assembly session last Sunday.
National Institute for Human Rights (NIHR) board member Fareed Ghazi said the strictness of the punishments reflected the increase in terrorist acts on Bahrain's streets.
"People have to differentiate between human rights and toughening laws because they are completely two different things," he said.
"Human rights include a fair trial, proper treatment and the ability to perform basic rights without legislation being restrictive.
"There is an increase in terrorist acts that had to be stopped and the National Assembly requested action and the King accordingly took tough measures within his rights and without any breach to public freedom or basic rights to protect the community and present culprits with the punishment they deserve."
Ghazi said the US, which constantly promoted democracy and human rights, does not hesitate to take measures against terrorist acts.
"The US has a special prison, Guantanamo Bay, for so-called terrorists that it brings from all across the world but at the same it still respects public and basic rights," he said.
Shura Council foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Dr Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa believes the new decrees will act as a strong deterrent.
"Imposing the death sentence on merciless terrorists is a good approach to return the rights of victims who have been unjustly killed," he said.
"There is no debate about the death penalty and Islam is clear - kill and get killed.
"Those terrorists have no remorse and disregard human lives so why should they be treated softly?"
Parliament foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Abdulrahman Bumajeed also welcomed the decrees.
"The anti-terrorism law was too lenient and it treated offenders as if they were committing regular crimes," he said.
"Toughening it was something we had been demanding for a very long time.
"Now they are operational laws, which we hope will stop terrorism.
"The death penalty for those who deserve it should have been imposed years ago and thankfully the rights of those killed by terrorism will not be ignored." - TradeArabia News Service