The 14th meeting of the Shura Council began with ratification of the minutes of the 13th meeting, before The Secretary-General Abdul Jalil Ibrahim Al-Tareef recited a statement praising His Majesty's call for political associations to complete the national consensus dialogue concerning matters that were agreed upon, and other outstanding matters to build on what has been agreed upon in order to reach a real national consensus.
The Shura Council expressed pride and deep appreciation to His Majesty for the sincere desire to protect the homeland and stability, and maintain its gains and achievements, calling all political associations and representatives to engage in a national dialogue without preconditions, in order to resolve political and national reconciliation and to add more gains for the benefit of the nation and citizens, in addition to the future generations, calling everybody to deal positively with this initiative, so as to ensure a climate that helps to deal with the issues in an atmosphere of stability and security, and ensures the continuation of political, economic and social development.
The Council's stressed the country needs to promote national cohesion and mutual trust, stressing the importance of the role of social movement in maintaining the stability of this community, with commitment to democracy approach and behavior, and the gradual enrichment of the democratic experience.
The Secretary General of the Shura Council recited another statement on the occasion of Arab Women's Day, which falls on the first of February, expressing congratulations and blessings to Bahraini women in particular, and Arab women in general, considering this occasion an opportunity to recall the significant achievements attained by the Bahraini and Arabic women.
The Council's praised also the significant role played by Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeekha Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, through her presidency of the Supreme Council for Women, and the support of Her Royal Highness to strengthen the role of Bahraini women in building society, stressing that the Shura Council continue its efforts to support and empower the Bahraini women, and enhance their capabilities at all levels.
The Council also expressed appreciation for the efforts of Arab women in the development process, and continued endeavors in various fields, stressing the determination of the Shura Council to translate the directives of His Majesty to promote cooperation and coordination with the Supreme Council for Women, to implement the national plan for advancement of Bahraini women, through the development of mechanisms and continuation to make efforts to preserve the gains made by women, and strive to achieve more through the enactment of laws and legislation to support their rights, which will be reflected positively on the family, community and thus produce tranquility and stability.
In the same vein, the Secretary General of the Shura Council in another statement responded to the report of the Subcommittee on Human Rights at the European Parliament, in which the council expressed deep regret to the report of the Subcommittee, which included the events after February 14th 2011, indicating that the report has included a number of opinions and attitudes that shows unfamiliarity with the course of events, and this was confirmed by the conflict that happened between the Commission's report, and the report of the delegation, which visited Bahrain recently headed by Mrs. Ennis Vyder, which pointed to the stability of the situation in the country, and the implementation of most recommendations of the Bahraini independent Commission for inquiry on the ground.
While expressing, the Shura Council regretted the lack of substance in the report, the statement stressed that the three authorities of Kingdom of Bahrain, Legislative, Executive and Judicial, are all committed to applying the law and independence of the judiciary, and ensuring the rights of the accused before judiciary, and the principle of equality before the Law in an effective and realistic way.
Then Council was notified about the incoming letters from the Chairman of the Council of Representatives H.E. Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Dhahrani concerning decree by law no. (41) for 2012, amending some provisions of law No. (54) of 2002 regarding the Rules of Procedure of the Council of Representatives, referring it to the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee, in addition to the decree by law no. (48) for 2012 concerning Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, referring it to the Finance and Economic Affairs Committee with notifying Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee.
The Council notified about referring two draft laws to the Foreign Affairs, Defense and National Security Committee regarding adding a new article (391) bis to the Penal Code issued via decree by law no. (15) of 1976, associated with the royal decree no. (50) for 2012, and a draft law amending article (34) of the Penal Code issued via decree by law no. (15) of 1976 (amended in light of the draft law submitted by the Council of Representatives), in addition of notifying the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee.
Then, the Council discussed and approved the decree law, regarding the supplementary report of the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee concerning decree by law no. (36) for 2011, regarding controls over salaries and benefits for government bodies and institutions staff.
Then the Council discussed the report of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and National Security Committee concerning the draft law amending some provisions of the Penal Code issued via decree by law no. (15) for 1976 "with regard to murder and breach of decency, assault on accommodation, gunpoint and slander, insults and disclosure of secrets, theft, fraud, dishonesty, usury and insulting the National Assembly", (prepared in light of the draft law submitted by the Council of Representatives), where hon. member Abdulrahman Jamsheer recited the Committee's recommendation to approve in principle the draft law. The Council decided to refer the draft law to the Committee for further study.
In the same vein, the Council referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defense and National Security for further study, amending some provisions of law no. (4) of 2001 concerning prohibition and combating money laundering and terrorist financing, amended by law no. (54) of 2006 (amended in light of the draft law submitted by the Shura Council), and the draft law amending some provisions of decree by law no. (4) of 2001, concerning prohibition of anti-money laundering and the financing of terrorism, associated with the royal decree no. (111) for 2011.
Then the Council discussed the report of the Services Committee about the draft law amending item (e) of Article (1) of law no. (13) of 1975 on the organization of pension and retirement benefits for government employees (prepared in light of the draft law submitted by the Council of Representatives). The Council decided to approve the Committee's recommendation to reject the draft law, and to take final opinion on it at the next meeting.
Finally, the Council concluded its session by reviewing the report of the Shura Council delegation concerning the participation in the second conference of the heads of the administrative courts in the Arab States, held in Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates, during the period from 11 - 12 September 2012.