Sunday, May 01, 2005

Read this! Bahrain, the kingdom of hashish!

From Vol XXVIII NO. 38 Wednesday 27 April 2005 of the Gulf Daily news:

Drug abuse shock as campaign launched

MORE THAN 26 per cent of Bahraini youngsters are taking illegal drugs, out of which 27pc are aged 15 to 18, a survey has revealed.

The majority of the youngsters take hashish, making up 56.19pc of those surveyed, while 62pc admitted to taking mind-altering pills, 10.48pc to heroin and 8.57pc to cocaine.

The survey was revealed at a ceremony, marking the launch of a nationwide anti-drugs campaign, held last night at the Gulf Hotel's Gulf International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The BD40,000, 10-day campaign is spearheaded by the General Organisation for Youth and Sports and features seminars, exhibitions and sports tournaments to be held at various venues.

The survey, supervised by organising committee member Dana Al Zayani, contains responses on various drug-related questions by 500 Bahrainis, aged 15 to 30.

Questionnaires were distributed to universities, public and private schools and youth clubs, comprising 60pc male and 40pc female.

Around 41pc of them said that they had met an addict and 16pc had friends who are addicts.

Out of those surveyed, 39.89pc said that they got drugs from friends, 16.60pc said from expatriates living in Bahrain and 9.18pc said while travelling abroad.

According to figures also revealed at the ceremony, the number of people who died due to a drug overdose rose from 34 in 2003 to 55 last year.

Statistics showed that security authorities seized 810kg of drugs last year, while the number of people arrested was 826 male and 11 females.

Goys president Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, addressing the ceremony, said that the campaign is being launched at a time when the drug addiction problem is increasing.

He said that the most targeted section of society by drug dealers is the youth.

"This campaign aims at upgrading the knowledge of Bahraini youngsters on the dangers of drugs on their lives."

Interior Ministry Under-Secretary Shaikh Daij bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said that the ministry was exerting efforts to reduce drug-related crimes. (OH PLEASE!!!! Couldn't help it!!)

"It has recently contributed in a new draft law related to drug trafficking," he said, adding that the new law stipulated that a national anti-drugs committee would be set up comprising representatives from the relevant government organisations.

The event also featured a song, entitled My Life is Lost, performed by Bahraini artistes Adel Mahmood and Hamad Al Jabri.

The song, written specially for the campaign, is a dialogue between a drug addict and a friend trying to give him advice and guidance.

Awards were also presented by Shaikh Fawaz to sponsors of the campaign, including CrediMax, Seef Mall, National Bank of Bahrain, Bahrain Credit, Bahraini Kuwaiti Insurance Company and Banagas.

Today's events will include a lecture at Al Hekma International School by guest speakers visiting Bahrain to promote the campaign.

They include Egyptian actor Hussain Fahmi, Saudi drug addiction treatment specialist Yousef Al Saleh, who is a former addict, United Nations Fight Against Drug Crimes director Faisal Al Hijazi, Bahraini singer Adel Mahmood and Dubai police Commander Dhahi bin Khalfan Bin Tameem.

They will also take part at a discussion forum, which will be open to the public at 8pm at the Gulf Hotel's Gulf International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

An exhibition will also be held today at Seef Mall, in co-operation with the Interior Ministry and Bahrain International Hospital.

It will feature free medical tests, awareness campaign posters and photographs, screening of documentaries, explanations by police on drug dealing methods and various materials targeting parents.


Reform the Judiciary

This appeared in the Gulf daily news on Saturday 23 April 2005:


MANAMA: Bahrain has unveiled an ambitious plan to completely overhaul its judicial system, including new courts to ensure speedy trials. "The plan is to rebuild the system to be more in line with sweeping local and international developments," Justice Minister Dr Mohammed Al Sitri said.

"The entire legal framework is being reviewed, particularly judicial and prosecution procedures," he said.

A comprehensive report on suggested legal amendments will then be submitted to the Cabinet, to be later forwarded to Parliament.

Subpoena procedures and enforcement of court verdicts were also being reviewed, with plans to take tough measures in co-ordination with the Interior Ministry.

"We are keen to expedite the settlement of trade disputes to create an investment friendly environment and preserve individual rights," he said in response to a question submitted by Shura Council member Abdulhussain Bu Hussain on the ministry's development schemes.

Dr Al Sitri also revealed that a project to promote Sharia Courts' proceedings had been submitted to the Cabinet.

There are also plans to set up new courts to ensure speedy trials, particularly those involving minors and traffic violations.

A feasibility study on a planned institute of judicial and legal studies and researches will also be submitted to the Cabinet soon.

A series of training courses will also be held for the Justice Ministry staff, including under-secretaries, assistant under-secretaries, directors, judges and employees.


Burning question:
What's to reform? Nuke the damned place up!