Monday 12 November 2012 - 09:41

Five years in prison for those insulting Bahraini king

Story Code : 211227
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
According to Bahraini newspaper al-Watan, the parliamentary committee of foreign affairs, defense and national security has approved the new punishment which was proposed by Bahraini lawmakers.

Bahraini MPs said they have proposed the new punishment since the Persian Gulf country’s constitution places special value on the king and introduces him as the symbol of national unity, defender of the country and religion, and the basis for the legitimacy of the government and the constitution.

Since the beginning of anti-regime protests in Bahrain, hundreds of people, including opposition activists, bloggers and lawyers, have been arrested and received long prison terms for taking part in protests rallies and opposing the ruling Al Khalifa government.

On November 1, a Bahraini activist was sentenced to six months in prison on charges of defaming the Arab kingdom’s monarch on Twitter. The convict, whose identity was not revealed, was part of a four-member group arrested in October in connection with their Twitter posts.

Bahrain, which is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has been the scene of anti-regime protests since February 2011 and scores of people have been killed and hundreds more injured in the regime crackdown.

On October 30, the Manama regime imposed a ban on all public gatherings across the country.

The protesters, however, say they will continue holding demonstrations against the Al Khalifa regime until their demands for the establishment of a democratically elected government and an end to rights violations are met.