Code of Ethics to be launched today

After months of negotiations, of retooling and retouching the code, we are finally at the point to launch it officially this afternoon, on this, a very auspicious day in the history of our country; it’s 37th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.

So congratulations, my friends, on both occasions which shall remain very dear to me, and I suspect all of us Bahrainis.

The launch will be at the Bahrain Human Rights Society’s premises in Adliya (opposite the Alumni Club) with a press conference at 5pm. If you are an electronic publisher, we would really value your support of your spreading the word about the Code, and attending the conference.

The signing ceremony will take place at a yet to be decided location on the 31st of August, by that time we should have its associated website ready to receive your pledges too.

Congratulations to everyone involved. This is very much for the better of our community.

I should be able to publish the translated Code in English very soon.

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10 Comments
  • Amjad
    14 August 2008

    I think you mean 37th anniversary of independence.

  • mahmood
    14 August 2008

    brain not working. thanks!

  • Redbelt
    14 August 2008

    Mabrook!

  • Na'ar
    14 August 2008

    Congratulations. Amazing how I just wrote an essay during May right before all this even started and after I gave it in for evaluation and maybe its in Switzerland for further evaluation. Hoping to get an interview from anyone for the extension.
    Congratulations again! 😛

  • Salman
    15 August 2008

    Mahmood, with your permission, may I use the picture to spread the word?

  • mahmood
    15 August 2008

    Be my guest. At least until the official winning entry becomes available.

  • milter
    15 August 2008

    Certainly a very praiseworthy effort.

    I understand the reasons behind the wish to establish such a code of conduct but, having read the text several times, it looks to me more like an attempt to confirm the already existing guidelines for freedom of speech and not so much a code of ethics relating to hate speech that differs from already existing laws and guide lines.

    As with all other documents of this type, the real test of its value and feasibility lies in the interpretation of phrases and single words. Who is to determine what will be considered “hate speech”, “promoting division”, “national unity”, “sectarianism”, “fair”, etc. etc.?

    I am particularly worried about the inclusion of this part:

    ….rules and conditions laid down by law, provided that the fundamental beliefs of Islamic doctrine are not infringed, the unity of the people is not prejudiced, and discord or sectarianism is not aroused.”

    A text like that is wide open to interpretation and can be used/abused to suit any purpose. It does not, in my opinion, contribute to establishing an environment of genuine freedom of speech or openness.

    Aren’t religious divisions behind most “hate speeches”? If religious subjects cannot be debated freely, including the freedom to doubt and not believe, how will you ever get to the point where they can be debated without “promoting division” and “arousing sectarianism”?

  • mahmood
    15 August 2008

    Thanks Milter, we realise the enormity of such a project, which is inherently full of thorns, we have a very long way ahead of us to achieve a state of affairs that we can at least call temperate rather than the current quite loaded one.

    The text you object to is a Constitutional article which is beyond our power to currently change, though we realise and recognise that although laws should not be crossed, they could least be tested and challenged.

    One step at a time, for the general good.

  • milter
    15 August 2008

    I know your stance on this subject, Mahmood, and I agree with your final words.

    My comment wasn’t really written as an attack on your efforts. I wrote it more in the hope that some people might read it and realize that there are alternatives.

    Good luck and congratulations on the day!

  • mahmood
    15 August 2008

    Thanks Milter, I wasn’t being defensive but rather wanted to outline the context.

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