Monday, July 10, 2006

Dissent Suppression Watch

As Bahrain approaches Parliamentary elections, the government is discussing a law banning rallies:
"'The draft law violates the basic tenets of human rights, especially the freedom of the public to hold peaceful rallies wherever they want. In fact, some of its articles forbid people to organise rallies near shopping malls and other public locations,' Dr Al Dirazi told the Gulf News.

"Dr Al Dirazi said it was expected of the committee to forward the draft law without any amendments. He said the members of the Shura council have been picked by the government to support its agenda.

"According to the draft law, carrying weapons, knives, flammable or explosive products or sticks by any protester would put the organisers of such demonstrations in danger of facing a one-year jail sentence or no less than BD200 fine or both.

"Those organising rallies without licence will get a 6-month jail sentence or BD100 fine or both."

As noted before, I also think banning criminals from politics is a swipe at Bahraini reformers. Meanwhile, in Egypt, detained activist Muhammad ash-Sharqawi has reportedly received death threats and the NDP-controlled Parliament has passed a restrictive new press law.


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