Move to deter Bahrainis from fighting abroad

Suad Hamada
Filed on February 28, 2014

Bahrain moved on Wednesday to deter its citizens from joining fighters abroad, especially in Syria.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that it has proposed an amendment to the anti-terror law. The ministry has prepared the draft to amend the provisions of the law to protect the community against terrorist acts and to further deter any citizen from committing acts of mass violence or join in fighting outside Bahrain.

The ministry will take all necessary steps to refer the amendment to the cabinet to put constitutional and legal measures in place, the statement said.

The ministry asserted that it is following with great concern the developments in Syria and maintained that some Bahraini citizens went there to join the fighting. It will take all legal steps against those who are involved. The Ministry affirmed that any citizen who cooperates with or joins any society, authority, organisation, gang or group based outside Bahrain that endorses terrorism or provides training to commit a terrorist act faces up to five years in jail.

It will order more investigations and searches to track and arrest those who have travelled abroad to join in fighting either through inducement, agreement or assistance. A travel ban will be imposed on such persons and they will be referred to the Public Prosecutor. It will monitor social media accounts and websites that offer inducement, recruit fighters and check all financial transactions, donations and assistance for such purposes and arrest those involved.

Since 2012, four Bahraini youth aged between 17 and 20 died in Syria.

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