Bahraini Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for “Insulting Judiciary”
2017-10-11 - 4:00 am
Bahrain Mirror: Bahrain's Second High (Appeal) Criminal Court upheld a verdict issued against a 50-year-old Bahraini, sentencing him for three years on charges of insulting the judiciary by publishing audio clips on social media sites, in which a judge and the Supreme Judicial Council are exposed.
A letter from the President of the Supreme Judiciary Council states that on April 5, 2017, an audio recording was circulated on a social media outlet, including insults to the judiciary, also exposing one of its judges, its body and authorities. Thus the act constitutes the crime pursuant to article 216 of the Penal Code.
The owner of the voice recording was summoned. The prosecution confronted him with the recording, which is 14 minutes 59 seconds long, so he confessed that he had the recorded, published it with other clips on YouTube and sent it via WhatSapp. He added that he did so after being convicted in five civil cases, some of which involved financial claims, and others related to rent claims for his owned shops. He appealed these cases but the appeals were refused since they were made after the due date. The recordings included offensive words and statements concerning a judge and the Supreme Judicial Council.
The accused also confessed that he had submitted a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council to review his cases. He was contacted and informed that an interview would be made to look into the cases. However, when it was proven that the verdicts were final, he decided to record the audio recording and publish it in group chats and on YouTube. Thus, the Public Prosecutor's Office charged him that during 2016 and 2017, he publicly insulted the judiciary by publishing audio and video recordings containing derogatory terms and statements on social networking sites.
The defendant appealed the verdict to the Court of Appeal. He attended the hearing yesterday and claimed that he did not eat or drink water for 26 days. The Court ruled that the appeal was accepted in form, yet refused in substance, therefore the appeal ruling was upheld.
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