Bahrain: ANHRI Demands from the Authorities to Immediately Rescind Amending the Law that Repress the Freedoms

Cairo April 17, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the decision of the approve of the draft law that toughening of the penalty regarding insulting the King and insulting the flag or the states State Emblem by the government, in a new attempt from the regime to silence the voices of the dissents and the intellectuals.

The Counsel of the Ministers in April 14, 2013, in the attendance of the prime minister Emir “Khalifiah ben Salman Al-Khalifiah” and the crown prince the deputy of the supreme commander and the deputy of the prime minister Emir “Salaman ben Hamed Al Khalifiah”, had approved the amendments on the law to toughening of the penalty inflicted on whoever insult the king, flag or the emblem of Bahrain, this before the counsel send the draft law submitted by the house of representatives to the legislative authority attached with the opinion of the government related to this law.

The house of representative submitted a proposal regarding sentencing whoever insult the king, flag or emblem of the state, in order to amend the article no. 214 from the penalty law issued by the decree law no. 15 of 1976 which was drafted in the light of the law submitted by the house of representatives that aims to increase the penalty on whoever commit any act that insult the king, the flag or the emblem of the state by any of the public methods and by any mean by imprisoning them for a period which does not exceed five years and fine that does not exceed 10.000 Dinars. The original article provides that whoever insult by the public methods the Emir of the state, flag of the state or the emblem of the state shall be confined.

ANHRI said that: The government decision to amend law no. 214 of the penalty law, proves beyond the reason of doubt that the authorities desire to silence the voices of the opposition and impose more restrictions on the protest movements that took place in Bahrain. After the restricting the assembly and the peaceful demonstration in addition to the intransigence of the authorities in granting the security authorizations to organize peaceful marches n addition to the serious violations that were committed against these marches. Moreover, the restrictions that were imposed on using the Internet and social networks, so the authorities seek to increase the penalties on whoever insult the king, the flag or the emblem of the state.

ANHRI added that this article with its broaden draft, allows the authorities to prosecute any one for just expressing his opinion by any form.

ANHRI demands the rescind of the article that restrict the freedoms, as the crime of insulting the president does not exists but in the tyrant and dictatorship countries.

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