Bahrain adopts tough new measures to fight ‘acts of terrorism’
DUBAI - Bahrain's press on Monday hailed tough new powers given to the authorities to address an upsurge in terrorist violence that hit several sites across the Gulf state.
Parliament gave authorities powers to revoke the citizenship of anyone "recognised as guilty of committing or inciting an act of terrorism."
At an extraordinary session on Sunday requested by King Hamad, MPs also recommended "a ban on gatherings and rallies" in the capital.
The parliament also called for emergency law to be declared in the Sunni-ruled Shiite-majority Gulf kingdom if the need arose.
MPs urged authorities to prosecute political groups that "incite and support acts of violence and terrorism," as well as those that use media social networks to "spread false information."
The Al-Ayam newspaper described the recommendations as "historic," and a reflection of a "national consensus to fight terrorism" in the kingdom.
There have been a growing number of shootings and bombings targeting police stations and patrols in Shiite villages outside the capital in recent months.
A car bomb exploded outside a Sunni mosque, close to the royal court in Rifaa, south of Manama, on July 17 without causing any casualties, officials said. There have since been three arrests.
In mid-February, a police officer was killed by a petrol bomb during clashes with protesters.
Strategically located across the Gulf from Shiite Iran, Bahrain is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet and is an offshore financial and services centre for its oil-rich Gulf Arab neighbours.