Bahrain Monitor - A Monthly Newsletter on the Human Rights Situation in Bahrain

No link between Violence & Freedom of Expression

During a seminar organized by the Bahrain Lawyrs’ Society, the legal advisor Ahmed Abdul Hakeem gave a lecture on freedom of opinion and expression in Bahrain, saying that peaceful channels and legal means of expression (such as parliaments, unions and political societies) are well known throughout the world. He added that all these legitimate means are available for people to express their opinions, and that violence and crime are forms of terrorism rather than free expression. He also noted that there are those who justify riots and violence, falsely claiming that they are forms of freedom of expression. These justifications are unfounded and have no legal basis; rather their sole purpose is to force the state to change its policies. Abdul Hakeem also said that the Bahraini legislator has criminalized all forms of violence, and attempts to confuse freedom of expression and violence constitute violations of the law, constitution and political and social values.