Bahraini MPs deadlocked over riots relief


He called for a committee to be established that would meet with those affected and decide how much money they are entitled to.

Among those he said should benefit from compensation are people whose homes, cars or businesses were damaged during the turmoil.

"What happened then is regretful and we hope the pages of those days are turned as we work together towards better achievements for the people following the dawn of democratic reforms," he told fellow MPs.

"Compensation would be included in the government budget for 2009-2010 after representatives from the Interior Ministry, Industry and Commerce Ministry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry assess claims."

However, Al Wefaq MP Jalal Fairooz said that compensation should also be made available to people who were imprisoned or exiled.

"Those mentioned by the chairman are not the only ones affected," he said.

"There are others who have seen their property damaged by tear gas canisters and rubber bullets fired by riot police.

"The proposal needs looking into to make it better because it is not up to anyone’s standards."

MP Mohammed Al Mizal said it was more important to compensate people than property, but became angry when he was cut short by his Al Wefaq colleague MP Sayed Haidar Al Sitri – who stressed that transitional justice had been agreed with the government.

"Don’t cut me short, we are here because of those heroes who have died for us," said Mr Al Mizal.

"We are looking for transitional justice, which takes everyone into consideration.

"It was just a few years back when mothers’ hearts were broken as police took their children.

"It is human beings who should be compensated, which I don’t believe makes up for the loss – not stones or any other property."

Mr Al Dhahrani told Mr Al Mizal that compensation was a step in the right direction, which could be expanded in future.

When parliament first vice-chairman Ghanim Al Buainain stood to speak he was stopped by Mr Fairooz, who told him he was not on the list of speakers.

"Do you have the list? Be quiet and listen," replied Mr Al Buainain.

"We thought that the wounds had healed, but they have not – even after six years.

"I still remember the burnt shops, houses and even people who were trapped inside to face death.

"We should refer the proposal to the concerned committee to make it comprehensive.

"It is not by screaming or shouting that things will be solved, everything should be done sensibly."

A number of MPs who were on the list of speakers did not have the chance to voice an opinion after Mr Al Dhahrani called for a vote on the compensation issue.

However, MPs were deadlocked at 18-17 (18 against) on whether to send it to the government.

The issue is now likely to come for discussion at parliament’s next meeting.

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