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Bahrain will ‘forcefully confront’ planned protests

Manama, August 13, 2013

Bahrain will "forcefully confront" protests called for later this week, and has issued a warning  to those behind planned demonstrations that they would be punished, said HRH Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa.

"The government will forcefully confront the suspicious calls to violate law and order and those who stand behind them through decisive measures," state news agency BNA quoted the Prime Minister as saying after a meeting to discuss preparations to confront the planned protests.

"It will punish (those) who stand behind them in line with the recommendations of the Bahrain National Council (parliament), which represents the will of the people of Bahrain," he added.

Bahrain has banned protests in the capital Manama and toughened anti-terrorism laws, including imposing longer prison terms and stripping perpetrators of Bahraini nationality, which human rights groups said could lead to a crackdown on protesters.

"The government is in a critical stage of fighting to eliminate terrorism," the Prime Minister said. "Terrorists, and those who provide them legitimacy and political cover, will be punished."

Calls by individuals and groups to disturb civic peace will be dealt with firmly by the government. "Those who support such calls will also be punished based on the National Assembly's recommendations," he added.

The Premier emphasised that the government will not tolerate any attempt to destabilise the kingdom, and will respond to it with the full force of the law, according to a report in the Gulf daily News, our sister publication.

"We will not allow anyone or anything to compromise the safety and stability of the nation," he said.

The Premier followed up the implementation of National Assembly recommendations and reviewed the security measures to deal with any emergency. He also reviewed the progress of the security and civil committees commissioned to implement the recommendations.

The Premier said 17 out of 22 recommendations have been fully implemented and stressed the need to speed up security measures to preserve public and private interests.

"These measures are aimed at protecting residents from militant groups, who are denying people their source of income by blocking roads and forcing them to close their businesses."

The Premier said he would personally follow up the implementation of anti-terror measures in order to provide citizens a safe and stable society that's free from violence, terrorism and sectarian exploitation. – Reuters & TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Prime Minister | Laws | National Assembly | protests |

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