Rapport 2013
La situation des droits humains dans le monde

7 août 2013

Bahrain: New decrees ban dissent as further protests organized

Bahrain: New decrees ban dissent as further protests organized
Sporadic protests have continued in Bahrain.

Sporadic protests have continued in Bahrain.

© MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/GettyImages


Banning sit-ins, public gatherings and demonstrations in Bahrain’s capital and stipulating that parents could be jailed if their children repeatedly participate in demonstrations is outrageous, and violates international law.
Source: 
Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

Two new emergency decrees issued by the King of Bahrain last night, which include the banning of all protests, are a further shameful attempt to completely ban any form of dissent and freedom of expression in the country, Amnesty International said.

“Banning sit-ins, public gatherings and demonstrations in Bahrain’s capital and stipulating that parents could be jailed if their children repeatedly participate in demonstrations is outrageous, and violates international law,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

“Authorities in Bahrain have, for years, abused existing legislation to suppress any form of dissent, but these new measures are taking their disregard for human rights to a completely new level. We fear that these draconian measures will be used in an attempt to legitimize state violence as new protests are being planned for 14 August.”

One of the decrees makes new amendments to the 1973 Law on public gatherings and demonstrations, which include the banning of demonstrations, sit-ins, marches and public gatherings in the capital Manama.

The 1976 juvenile law was also amended and now stipulates that, if anyone under 16 years of age takes part in a demonstration, public gathering or sit-in, his or her parents would be warned in writing by the Ministry of Interior. If six months after the warning the juvenile was found in a new demonstration, his or her father could face jail, a fine or both.

The decrees are the latest in a series of measures by the Bahraini authorities to toughen punishments laid out in the 2006 anti-terrorism law, stifling dissent in the wake of increased protests.

In recent weeks, the security forces have used shot-guns and tear gas against protesters and conducted mass arrests of protesters. Amnesty International has also received reports of torture and other ill-treatment of detained protesters.

In the early hours of 29 July at least 27 people, mostly youth, were arrested in the village of Dar Kulaib in west Bahrain, where clashes between security forces and protesters had taken place. Bloggers, photographers and others active in social media networks have been targeted for arrest in recent days.

Despite these measures, sporadic protests have continued with a new mass demonstration planned for 14 August.

“Banning protests and using unnecessary and excessive force against protesters will risk leading to further violent clashes. Instead, the authorities in Bahrain should focus on ensuring people across the country can exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” said Philip Luther.

The 2006 anti-terrorism legislation, known as “Protecting Society from Terrorist Acts”, defines terrorism in an overly broad and ambiguous manner.

Amnesty International said some of the provisions in the law place arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression and gives the Public Prosecution excessive discretion.

Since February 2011 when large anti-government protests began in Bahrain the human rights situation in the country has deteriorated sharply. Scores of opposition activists have been arrested and tried before military courts.

Many were tortured. Some, including 13 prominent figures, are serving lengthy sentences of up to life. Dozens of people died, including from torture, but mainly as a result of unnecessary and excessive use of force by security forces during protests. Human rights activists have been jailed for their work.

Thème

Militants 
Liberté d'expression 
Normes relatives aux droits humains 
Crise Moyen-Orient et Afrique du Nord 

Pays

Bahreïn 

Région ou pays

Moyen-Orient et Afrique du Nord 

@amnestyonline sur Twitter

Nouvelles

15 janvier 2015

Dans un rapport rendu public jeudi 15 janvier, Amnesty International appelle les autorités de transition du Burkina Faso à ouvrir une enquête sur l’utilisation d’une force... Pour en savoir plus »

12 janvier 2015

Un nouveau rapport d’Amnesty International décrit le manque tragique de progrès réalisés dans la reconstruction du pays depuis le tremblement de terre de 2010, il y a cinq ans... Pour en savoir plus »

26 janvier 2015

Dans un lieu de détention secret de la province de Laguna, située au sud de la capitale Manille, la Commission a découvert une roue multicolore, inspirée de la Roue de la... Pour en savoir plus »

16 janvier 2015

Au moins 69 arrestations se sont succédé en France cette semaine, les prévenus comparaissant pour « apologie du terrorisme », infraction dont la définition reste vague. Le... Pour en savoir plus »

12 décembre 2014

L’avocat Mohammed al Roken a été condamné à 10 ans d’emprisonnement en juillet 2013 à la suite d’une vague de répression contre les militants politiques et les... Pour en savoir plus »