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Death Penalty Information

Monday, July 31, 2006

Death Penalty Information - Blogs - Amnesty International
Bahrain - International legal group urges halt to anti-terror laws

Death Penalty Information - Blogs - Amnesty International

GENEVA, July 27, 2006 (AFP) - An international group of legal experts on Thursday urged Bahrain's king to block a tough new law aimed at combatting terrorism.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said it had written to King Hamad to warn that new counter-terrorism legislation approved by lawmakers in Bahrain last week could create "a legal framework prone to abuse".
The legislation, which must still be ratified by the monarch, provides for the death penalty, jail terms reaching life imprisonment, and house arrest for acts of terror or the establishment of terrorist groups.
"The new law on combating terrorism introduces overly broad and vague definitions of terrorism and a number of other crimes, including the association with, the promotion and approval of terrorism," said Gerald Staberock, head of the ICJ's global security and rule of law programme.
"These open-ended provisions are the kind of laws that lend for abuse and that would allow the stifling of legitimate political and social dissent," he said.
"The exclusion of judicial safeguards in the Bahraini law carries a serious and foreseeable risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment," Staberock said.
The ICJ said if the new law came into force, it would reverse recent reforms by Bahrain, as well as running against a UN recommendation that the kingdom bring its counter-terrorism laws into line with the UN Convention Against Torture.
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