• The GCC Financial Forum 2019
No! It is not 'okay' for rapists to marry their victims...Bahraini lawyers want change in law

No! It is not 'okay' for rapists to marry their victims...Bahraini lawyers want change in law

Lawyers in the Kingdom say it’s high time to scrap the legal loophole that allows rapists to escape jail if they marry their victims. They allege Article 353 is still being retained in the Bahrain Penal Code because of the presence of backward-looking elements in the society, who continue to wield strong influence on the lawmakers. Senior lawyer Ahmed Al Mulla said the clause no longer exists in many Arab countries. “Egypt was the first country to introduce this law, followed by all Arab countries. However, due to pressure from human rights groups, many countries including Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria and Lebanon have scrapped the ‘marriage clause’,” he said. “In Morocco, a 16-year-old girl committed suicide, after being forced to marry her rapist, through a family settlement to extricate him from death penalty. Lawyers and civil rights activists fought hard to repeal the article.” Echoing a similar view, lawyer Faisal Al Jamaan said, “Rape is the highest level of violence against women. It degrades and humiliates her. There is no official statistics in Bahrain on this subject. Social order, customs and traditions in Bahrain and other GCC countries reject marriages between rapists and their victims.” “In Bahrain, many rape cases have ended in marriages to preserve the honour of families. The community pressure plays an important role in these circumstances,” she pointed out. On May 8, 2018, the House of Representatives discussed the amendment of Article 353. However, the draft law was withdrawn and the voting was postponed. Nineteen women organisations including Bahrain Women Union have come out in open against the “draconian” article. They even expressed their anger over the inhuman side of forcing the victim to live with her rapist. Meanwhile, on the flip side, a lawmaker affirmed that the Council of Representatives is not showing any leniency towards rapists as accused by women organisations. Defending the committee’s decision not to scrap Article 353, Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Committee Chairman Abdulla BinHowail said, “Emotions shouldn’t be involved while discussing such sensitive matters and legislations.” “These organisations portray that the committee is against the punishment of rapists, which is incorrect. The committee seeks the toughest punishment for rapists, but these procedures should be taken in co-ordination with the related official authorities,” BinHowail said. Elaborating further, the lawmaker explained, “We have reviewed the matter with Interior Ministry, the Supreme Judicial Council, the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) and legal advisers to the council. They all rejected the removal of the article.” “The offender will be punished, whether he marries the victim or not. What the committee suggested, in consensus with the concerned authorities, is to maintain the article and follow judges’ assessment, with regard to exempting the offender if he marries the victim, which is very much rare in our society,” he added.




GAA gets nod to purchase new full flight simulator

GAA gets nod to purchase new full flight simulator

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Workshop focuses on VAT challenges for SMEs

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Bahrain attends Munich Security Conference

Bahrain attends Munich Security Conference

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Sinai blast condemned

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GAA gets nod to purchase new full flight simulator

GAA gets nod to purchase new full flight simulator

The Gulf Aviation Academy (GAA) Board of Directors approved ambitious expansion plans for 2019 during a regular meeting chaired by the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and GAA Chairman, Kamal Ahmed. The plans include purchasing a fourth Airbus A320 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) and

Workshop focuses on VAT challenges for SMEs

Workshop focuses on VAT challenges for SMEs

Adopting proper VAT procedures can take up to four months while careful planning will help SMEs avoid common pitfalls, VAT experts observed. This came as Tamkeen held a workshop titled ‘The Roll-out of VAT in Bahrain’. The event, co-hosted by Tamkeen and Sage, with participati

Broadening tourism horizons

Broadening tourism horizons

In line with its efforts to attract tourists from across the world to the Kingdom, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) officially inaugurated its latest representative office in Kuwait, which was announced during a press conference held at the Four Seasons Hotel, Kuwait.

Bahrain attends Munich Security Conference

Bahrain attends Munich Security Conference

The Ambassador of the Kingdom, Abdulla Abdullatif Abdullah, chaired the Kingdom’s delegation participating in the 55th Munich Security Conference (MSC), held in Munich from February 15 to17, with the participation of a number of heads of states and governments as well as foreign and de

Sinai blast condemned

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Bahrain yesterday condemned the terrorist attack that targeted a security checkpoint in North Sinai, Egypt, which resulted in the martyrdom and injury of a number of security officers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wished the

IS on brink of defeat

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A US-backed force in Syria is closing in on Daesh militants in a tiny area less than a square kilometer (square mile) in eastern Syria, and will soon declare the defeat of the militant group, a commander with the group said Saturday. The capture of the last pocket still held by Daesh figh

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