*** ----> Bahrain MPs divided over law to ban travel of expats with unpaid debts | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain MPs divided over law to ban travel of expats with unpaid debts

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Bahrain’s parliament has ignited a firestorm by passing a proposal that could prevent foreign workers from leaving the country if they have outstanding debts.

While some lawmakers hail it as a victory for creditors, others worry it infringes on basic human rights.

MP Maryam Al Dhaen emerged as a fierce critic, blasting the ban as a violation of freedom of movement and a potential breeding ground for lawyer exploitation.

She championed alternative solutions, like involving embassies and offering debtors ways to repay through prison work.

On the other side, MP Mahmood Merza Fardan acknowledged the need for respecting human rights but stressed protecting creditors too.

He clarified that expats can still leave with financial guarantees, dispelling myths about the law.

MP Mamdouh Abbas Alsaleh cheered the proposal, citing similar laws in neighbouring countries and the need to stop debtors from fleeing.

He saw it as safeguarding both citizens and the state from financial losses. However, MP Ahmed Sabah Alsallom wasn’t convinced.

He slammed the current law for being too lenient, giving debtors a nine-month grace period. He urged stricter rules to plug loopholes and prevent further losses.

Finally, MP Ahmed Abdulwahed Qarata raised concerns about potential discrimination against foreign workers, urging equal treatment and highlighting the negative impact of lax regulations on businesses.

He pushed for a complete review of existing laws to ensure fairness and security for all.

The heated debate reflects the complex challenges of balancing creditor rights with human rights and ensuring fair treatment for all residents in Bahrain.

Only time will tell what shape the final law will take and how it will impact the lives of expats and creditors alike.