Crime in Bahrain

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There is a low rate of crime in Bahrain.[1] Incidents of petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching are reported especially in the old market areas (souks).[2] Incidents of violent crime is uncommon,[1] but increasing. Much of the crime in the nation is committed by the large South Asian population of guest workers. Though small in size, there is a growing underground drug market in the country.[3] According to Emile Nakhleh, approximately 65% of violent crime and theft are committed by foreign citizens residing in Bahrain.[4]

Charisse Tia Maria Coston and Freda Adler in their book Victimizing Vulnerable Groups analyzed the reasons behind the low crime rate in Bahrain. The society of Bahrain follows the teachings of the Qur'an; the Qur'an influences political, economic and social environment. Islam, which is most important in the structure of Bahraini society, teaches wrongdoings will result in downfall of societies and try to uproot crime by exerting influence upon human conscience.[5] This internalization of the religion of Islam is analyzed as a cause behind law-abiding behavior among Bahraini people where violation of law is considered violation of the principles of God.[6]

Bahrain is a destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude and commercial sexual exploitation. Men and women from Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia migrate voluntarily to Bahrain to work as laborers or domestic servants where some face conditions of involuntary servitude such as unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movements, non-payment of wages, threats and physical or sexual abuse. Women from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Southeast Asian country like Thailand and North African nation like Morocco are trafficked to Bahrain for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.[7]

Threat of terrorist attack is a matter of concern.[8] The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Government of Australia advised travelers "to exercise a high degree of caution in Bahrain" due to high threat of terrorism. According to the DFAT, terrorists can target shopping areas, supermarkets, embassies, hotels, restaurants, clubs, cinemas and theaters, schools, places of worship, outdoor recreation events and tourist areas.[2]

In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2007, Bahrain was ranked 46th out of 179 countries for corruption (least corrupt countries are at the top of the list). On a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 the most corrupt and 10 the most transparent, Transparency International rated Bahrain 5.0.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bahrain United States Department of State
  2. ^ a b Bahrain Government of Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  3. ^ Bahrain 2007 Crime & Safety Report Overseas Security Advisory Council
  4. ^ Charisse Tia Maria Coston, Freda Adler (2004). Victimizing Vulnerable Groups: Images of Uniquely High-risk Crime Targets. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 226. ISBN 978-0-275-96614-0. 
  5. ^ Charisse Tia Maria Coston, Freda Adler (2004). Victimizing Vulnerable Groups: Images of Uniquely High-risk Crime Targets. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-275-96614-0. 
  6. ^ Charisse Tia Maria Coston, Freda Adler (2004). Victimizing Vulnerable Groups: Images of Uniquely High-risk Crime Targets. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-275-96614-0. 
  7. ^ Bahrain The World Factbook
  8. ^ Bahrain Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  9. ^ Corruption Perceptions Index 2007 Transparency International