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Bahrain: Militiamen Will be Tried in Military Courts | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Bahraini Minister of Justice Sheikh Khalid Bin Ali Al-Khalifa (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Manama- Individuals involved in terror acts and militias supported and funded by foreign forces will be tried before military courts in the Gulf state Bahrain, national top officials disclosed.

According to Bahrain’s state-owned news agency BNA, Justice Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, said it has become necessary to develop legislative tools to contribute to maintaining the homeland’s security and stability, stressing Bahrain’s keenness on promoting human rights in various fields consistent with the international conventions signed in the same areas.

The minister stressed that perpetrators of terror actions are not considered civilians– they practice brutal acts of violence, and partake in armed militias that receive military training.

Traditional warfare, a concept possibly washed out, and modern day threats involve developed activity of militias and armed groups, most of which are backed and funded by states and organizations, Minister Khalifa said.

Khalifa’s remarks were made before the Shura Council during the discussion of a report on a draft amendment to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain and its explanatory memorandum associated with Royal Decree 7/ 2017, reported BNA.

“Bahrain faces a fourth generation warfare against terrorist armed groups and militias supported by countries and organizations target innocent people and property, whom should be addressed by developing legislative and laws to stop their threats to peace and security,” he said.

The minister added that when addressing terrorism, a military judge is most fitted to settle such cases.

More so, the act of joining the ranks of militias or terrorist groups formed by a foreign state or supported by it, is treated as a military act and cannot be thought as a civilian one, Khalifa said.

Military courts are run by a qualified judicial cadre of equal importance to civilian court judges, He explained. Martial tribunals respect procedural guarantees and follow the litigation.

He pointed out the need for constitutional amendments, particularly for articles that prohibit the state to face the armed militias, in case they carry out acts of assault, unless a military junta is declared.

Minister Khalifa said military justice is well capable of identifying military and armed violations against civilians swiftly and decisively.

Military courts do not have the authority to try civilians, but those who engage in terrorist acts and violent crimes will be prosecuted by military courts as their acts are considered equivalent to armed assault.