Law is blind to gender status, Justice Minister says

September 26, 2011

The 38 women who were arrested last week have been transferred to the public prosecutor to decide on their case, the justice minister said on Monday.

“The law in Bahrain does not differentiate between men and women and all people regardless of their gender are required to comply with the law,” Shaikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Khalifa said. He was responding to calls to free the women on the basis of their conditions.

Bahrain’s top Shiite body, the Islamic Scholars Council, earlier on the day staged a sit-in and called for the release of the women who were arrested over the weekend during a demonstration ahead of the parliamentary by-elections boycotted by the main opposition groups.

Al Wefaq Islamic Society whose 18 members resigned in February from the lower chamber and who were being replaced in the two-round by-elections called upon the authorities to allow the women to go home, saying that arresting women who were expressing themselves was not part of the Bahraini traditions or customs.

However, Shaikh Khalid said that the situation would not have developed if people, both men and women, respected the law.

“We do hope that people comply with the law and respect the feelings of others. We also hope that events are not exploited to sow divisions between people,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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