World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Bahrain: King Must Reject Law on Public Gathering

Bahrain: King Should Reject Law on Public Gatherings

Government Must Revise Draft Law That Undermines Freedom of Assembly

(Washington, D.C.,) – The Bahraini government’s draft legislation on public meetings and demonstrations undermines the right of peaceful assembly, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter urging Bahrain’s king not sign the bill into law.

" This badly flawed law has no place on the statute books of any state, much less a member of the new U.N. Human Rights Council. "

Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division

The draft law will be the first significant human rights-related legislation to come before Bahrain’s king, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for final approval since the country was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council last month. In its letter, Human Rights Watch urged the king to instruct the Ministries of Justice and Interior to revise the legislation to bring it in line with international human rights law.

“Shaikh Hamad and other Bahraini officials claim that the country is on the path to democracy, but this legislation would move Bahrain in the opposite direction,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. “This badly flawed law has no place on the statute books of any state, much less a member of the new U.N. Human Rights Council.”

Freedom of assembly is essential to forming and expressing public participation in political affairs and a crucial component of any democratic order, Human Rights Watch said. International law allows some limitations on the exercise of this freedom, but the limitations cannot compromise the essence of the right.

In the draft law, known as Amendments to Law 18/1973, Article 6 forbids “any speech or discussion infringing on public order or morals.” But it leaves “public order and morals” undefined, inviting security officials to restrict free expression and peaceful assembly at will. Article 7 authorizes police presence at any public meeting and allows security officials to break up meetings if any crime listed in the Penal Code is committed.

“Bahrain’s Penal Code still has provisions that contradict international human rights standards,” Stork said. “This new law says the police can lawfully disrupt a public meeting even if the participants are simply exercising basic rights like freedom of expression and freedom of association.”

The draft legislation originated with the government. The elected 40-member Council of Deputies (Majlis al-Nawwab) has approved it, and the appointed 40-member Consultative Council (Majlis al-Shura) is expected to do so soon. The bill requires approval of the king to become law.

To read the letter, please visit:

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/06/08/bahrai13529.htm

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news