Curse of the Blue Bird Still Haunts Bahrainis

2016-11-05 - 8:35 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Twitter's 140 characters or less still bothers the Government of Bahrain, as it would do to any oppressive regime. There is no place for freedom of opinion or expression in a country ruled by the minority Al Khalifa tribe. Anyone who dares to voice a view contradicting that of the "Sheikh's" can only be found behind bars.

The Bahraini authorities have time and time again arrested Tweeters using Aliases out of caution, as well as political activists and human rights defenders, for sending certain tweets via their personal accounts.

The Bahraini satirist blogger "Hussain Mahdi" , nicknamed Takrooz, was arrested at the Bahrain International Airport, while on his way back from Thailand. Head of Al-Wefaq Society Shura Council Sayed Jameel Kadhem was taken into custody for expressing his views on the "sham parliamentary elections" that took place in 2014.

President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and prominent rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, was also a target. Rajab was detained and later pardoned by the Bahraini King, yet it was not long before the authorities re-arrested and tried him over tweets he posted on the sufferings of Yemenis as a result of the Saudi aggression against their country.

As for Dr. Saeed Al-Samahiji, he served a whole one year prison sentence for a retweet calling for protests against Saudi Arabia's execution of prominent Saudi Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr. Over the same "offence", Ibrahim Karimi who was accused of managing the "Freej Karimi" Twitter account was also arrested.

Football Player Mohammad Al-Alawiyat, who plays for the Sitra Sports Club, was apprehended from his workplace over charges of "insulting the King of Bahrain on Twitter".

Also, Bahraini security forces raided Taiba Ismail's home one day in the early hours of the morning to take her into custody. This brutal arrest was not launched against a person belonging to a terrorist organization but a person accused of managing the Twitter account of "Nabeela Mushaima Salman" and "misusing social media."

Taha Ismail, Hameed Al-Khatam and Younes Al-Shakhouri were also listed among a group of Bahrainis that the Public Prosecution announced were interrogated over allegations of managing Twitter accounts that "incite hatred against the regime and promote illegal assemblies".

This is not remotely close to being the entire list of persons targeted by the Bahraini authorities for expressing their opinion or views via Twitter. There many more who have been put behind bars for practicing their right to freedom of expression on social media, as the Bahraini regime still pursues Tweeters, deeming them a threat to the state's security!

The Bahraini Interior Ministry has assigned a special team under the administration of the Cyber Crime Unit to monitor Tweeters and raise lawsuits against them. The ministry even made a hotline available for reporting such "crimes". Oddly enough, sharing 140 characters on your personal Twitter account could be considered one of the most serious crimes to be committed in the island kingdom.

Arabic Version    


comments powered by Disqus