NIHR: Abolition of Article 353 of Penal Code to improve Bahrain’s international status regarding women’s protection

National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) Chairman, Ali Ahmed Al-Derazi, has stated that the legislative authority’s approval to scrap Article (353) of the Penal Code is consistent with the visions submitted by the NIHR to the Council of Representatives in 2020.

He indicated that the NIHR had recommended considering rape as a punishable crime, being a crime of assault on honour, public freedom, and the sanctity of the human body, as it causes physical and psychological damages that are difficult to recover from it for a long time.

Al-Derazi added that although rape cases are not widespread in Bahrain thanks to social awareness and security efforts, the abolition of the aforementioned article would contribute to deterring potential criminals and strengthening the principle of non-impunity.

It would also lift the pressure on the affected woman, which may sometimes lead her to accept the fait accompli in the event of assault, as well as exempt the perpetrator from the consequences of his crime by marrying his victim.

The NIHR chief pointed out that the abolition of this article is consistent with international conventions on the elimination of discrimination against women in general, and the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of women, in particular, adding that the move places Bahrain alongside developed countries with regard to supporting women and protecting their dignity and rights.

He affirmed the NIHR’s support for all efforts that contribute to raising the levels of protection for women and enhancing family and community security and stability.

Source: Bahrain News Agency