Panel rejects ban on publishing photos of accused
Manama : A parliamentary committee recently rejected a proposal to ban publishing photos of the accused ahead of being convicted by the court.
This comes as Foreign Affairs, National Security and Defence Committee in the House of Representatives issued a report rejecting a proposal submitted by MP Khalid Al Shaer to amend the Kingdom’s Penal Code, criminalising publishing pictures of the accused ahead of conviction and subjecting violators to punish not exceeding one year and or fines not exceeding BD100.
Al Shaer, who’s a member of the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) and the former head council’s Human Rights Committee, justified his proposal by quoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights saying, “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”
He also quoted Article 20/C of the Kingdom’s constitution, which reads, “An accused person shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty in a legal trial in which the necessary guarantees for the exercise of his right of defence in all the stages of investigation and trial are ensured in accordance with the law.”
However, the MP’s justifications didn’t convince the committee which rejected the proposal in a report published yesterday and will be reviewed by the Council of Representatives on Tuesday.
The committee’s decision came after discussing the proposal with several parties including the council’s Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee and Legal Consultant, in addition to Interior Ministry and NIHR, which earlier expressed its rejection to publishing pictures of the accused ahead of conviction.