Top court halts mosque rebuilding in Bahrain
Manama, June 21, 2012
Bahrain's highest court, the Cassation Court, has halted work on rebuilding 11 mosques that were demolished during last year's unrest, ruling that their construction was illegal without a municipal permit.
But Lawyer Abdullah Al Shamlawi representing the Jaffari Waqf (Endowment) Directorate claimed the ruling was unacceptable.
"We cannot go and request for a licence from the Central Governorate as they are the ones who filed a case against us," he said.
The Central Governorate has lodged three complaints against the Waqf Directorate, which is responsible for rebuilding the mosques, claiming the work carried out was illegal since it did not follow proper procedures.
A government lawyer earlier asked the Urgent Matters Court to halt the work, since the mosques were located on government-owned land and were not licensed.
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) in its report last November said 30 places of worship were demolished by authorities during unrest, but only five had been built with the requisite royal deed and building permit.
"These places of worship were thus in violation of the royal decree, which prescribes that all mosques must have at least a building permit and a Royal Decree to comply with Bahraini law," said the BICI.
"The commission notes, however, that administrative orders for the demolition of these structures did not invoke or rely on security grounds," it said.
"They based themselves on violation of administrative requirements," the BICI said.
However, rebuilding demolished mosques was one of the recommendations of the BICI. – TradeArabia News Service