Bahrain King ratifies law on state secrets
Manama, June 23, 2014
His Majesty King Hamad has ratified a law on protection of state classified information and documents.
The new legislation shall apply to public sector employees or those under their legal authority, as stipulated in the penal law, in addition to employees working in establishments in which the state retains a 50 per cent stake or contributes to their management.
Provisions of the ratified law shall apply to all state authorities, establishments, departments and agencies, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Under the new legislation, state information and documents shall be classified into three categories:
Highly-confidential: Applies to information and records which, if disclosed, endanger the safety of the state or irreversibly damage its security or interests.
Confidential: Applies to information and records which, if divulged, damage the state security and interests.
Banned/limited: Applies to information and records which, if divulged, incur limited damage on the security and interests of the state.
Authorities will issue edicts determining the information, documents and records falling under each category.
Other state information, documents and records which do not fall under the provisions of this law shall be treated as normal and protected from tampering, loss, damage and disclosure.
Under this law, officials are banned from divulging any classified information or documents they have access to, depending on their position and responsibilities.
Officials are banned from removing any classified information or documents from the parties concerned by this law. Provisions of this law ban any printing, photocopying, filming or storing of the classified information or documents.
Any official whose period of employment is terminated is prohibited from divulging any classified information or documents he may acquire or he may have access to and whose disclosure is banned under the provisions of this law.
Taking into account the procedures enforced at the Royal Court, the Premier's Court, the Crown Prince's Court, the Interior Ministry, BDF, National Guard and the National Security Agency, the parties concerned by the provisions of this law shall issue, within six months of its promulgation in the National Gazette, the edict which specify the classified information and documents. - TradeArabia News Service