Bahrain Forum for Human Rights: The Royal Court exercises religious persecution by nationalizing the Jafari endowments to undermine the independence of religious affairs
To read the article in arabic please check: https://bfhr.org/article.php?id=1059&cid=4
The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights (BFHR) said that the Royal Decree No. (3) on endowments issued on January 19, 2021 is a part of the systematic policy of religious persecution led by the Royal Court against the Jafari endowments to undermine the independence of religious affairs. It is a reflection of the continuing institutional policy of sectarian persecution against Shia citizens, the BFHR added, noting that it constitutes a flagrant infringement of religious freedoms.
“Decree No. 3 of 2021 included an amendment and an addition to the religious procedures on the matter. It transgressed the constitutional and religious limits when it usurped the mandate of the Sharia judge (Sharia jurist) in the consideration and adjudication of disputes related to the endowments, the legitimate custodian, and the keepers, and gave the Board of Directors of the Endowments powers that must not be granted to it according to the Jafari doctrine. This decree clearly brought about its legal and constitutional defects, which is considered usurpation and confiscation of the right of the Sharia judge, and also a void grant to a Board of Directors that does not have the religious and jurisprudential requirements. In addition, the minister concerned with the arrangement of affairs has no mandate to decide, restrict or undermine religious measures that affect the origin of rights. The minister has an administrative and supervisory role, and he is not entitled, by a decision or a regulation, to give a right to a party or to confiscate a party’s right,” the BFHR said.
“The Board of Directors of the Jafari endowments is appointed by a unilateral governmental decision, and thus the appointment is made without observing the sectarian specificity guaranteed in international conventions. In addition, the appointment is made by a single will that exceeds the will and choice of hundreds of endowment bodies. The new mandate created for the Jafari endowments in this decree constitutes a flagrant violation of the ideological specificity of the citizens who donate an endowment,” the BFHR added.
“Those in charge of the endowments do not have the right to act regarding an endowment except by consulting the endowments administration which belongs to the Ministry of Justice, and which in turn consults the Ministry of Interior. This confirms that the endowments administration is subject to the influence of the security administration,” the BFHR noted.
“Endowment institutions have a juristic personality in accordance with local and international laws. Article 17 of the Bahraini Civil Law states that a juristic person is a group of persons or properties and are recognized by virtue of a provision of the law. In addition, Article 18 of the Bahraini Civil Law stipulates, ‘A juristic person enjoys, within the limits established by law, all rights with the exception of those rights which are inherent in the nature of an individual. A juristic person shall have its own patrimonial, legal capacity, the right to sue, its own domicile and a representative to express will.’ This means that endowment institutions have rights and have an independent financial inviolability, and no one is entitled to act regarding the endowment proceeds except with the permission of the owner of the endowment or whoever acts on their behalf. For example, mixing the funds of the endowment institutions with the account of the Jafari endowments administration is legally considered a violation.
Bahrain Forum for Human Rights
February 12, 2021