Bahrain: claim that men face more harassment sparks row

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A row erupted in the Shura Council yesterday as some members claimed men faced more harassment in Bahraini society than women.  The heated exchange happened during an hour-long debate on amendments to the 1976 Penal Code.

The amendments in question related to punishing those harassing women verbally, or physically in public or a confined place with a jail term of three months up to a year and a fine between BD100 and BD500. The other punished offenders who open letters not addressed to them or respond to calls intended for others with a fine between BD50 and BD200 and if the information is made public then an additional jail term of three months up to a year is added.

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During debate, Human Rights Committee Chairman Ahmed Al Haddad questioned the wording of the amendment tackling harassment. “There are males who are attacked as well, so why are they left out of the amendment?” he asked. “Why is there this discrimination? We call on those concerned to provide us with statistics on males who are harassed”.

The debate was stopped once the error was stopped once the error was brought to the attention of the chamber, prompting Shura members to vote on the two other amendments, which punish those that encourage others to commit immoral acts with a jail term between three months and six months or a fine between BD200 and BD500, while those who invade people’s privacy and post private pictures or news on public platforms with the intent of harm would be jailed between three months and a year and fined between BD200 and BD500.

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Source Credit: Gulf Daily News

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