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'Decent people have nothing to fear...'

Decent people have nothing to fear from Bahrain's proposed new terrorism law, says Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.

It will protect lives and the country's security without diminishing human rights, he told MPs yesterday.

There would be no "administrative" arrests under the new law, he said.

Any arrests would be through proper legal procedures, Shaikh Rashid said at a meeting at the National Assembly complex, Gudaibiya.

"The law doesn't have any article that contradicts with the constitution, public freedom and human rights," he said.

Shaikh Rashid said the proposed law had been drawn up on Bahrain's own initiative, "without any foreign intervention or anyone forcing us to have it".

Present at the meeting were parliament chairman Khalifa Al Dhahrani, senior MPs and ministry officials.

Parliament foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Ahmed Bahzad, whose committee will study the proposed law, people had been spreading inaccurate information about the law. "It is not a copy of the national security law scrapped in 2001 and does not pose a threat to freedom of expression," he said.

"The law is to protect the country and people's lives and comes in line with agreements Bahrain has signed with the United Nations."

"This law will be under the supervision of the civil judiciary system and not the military," he said.



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