Bahrain: The Authorities Celebrate the World Day against Cyber-censorship by Arresting 6 Twitter Users

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) expresses its deep concern for the Bahraini Authorities arrest of a number of Twitter users on the charge of ‘defaming the King’ Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa. These arrests coincide with the world celebration of countering cyber censorship.

According to the information obtained by the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) from the families of detainees, the Authorities arrested 6 people who have accounts on the electronic website, Twitter:

1.Mr. Ali Faisal Al-Shufa (17 years old): arrested on 12 March at dawn, and the Public Prosecution ordered that he be taken to custody for 7 days, pending trial.
2.Mr. Hassan Abdali Isa (33 years old): arrested on 12 March at dawn, and the Public Prosecution ordered that he be taken to custody for 7 days, pending trial.
3.Mr. Mohsen Abdali Isa (26 years old): arrested on 12 March at dawn, and the Public Prosecution ordered that he be taken to custody for 7 days, pending trial.
4.Mr. Ammar Makki Mohammed Al-Aali (36 years old): arrested on 12 March at dawn, and the Public Prosecution ordered that he be taken to custody for 7 days, pending trial.
5.Mr. Mahmood Abdul-Majeed Abdulla Al-Jamri (34 years old): arrested on 12 March at dawn, and the Public Prosecution ordered that he be taken to custody for 7 days, pending trial.
6.Mr. Mahdi Ebrahim Al-Basri (25 years old): arrested on 11 March at dawn. His relatives confirmed to the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) that the contents of the house were destroyed and they were verbally abused. Mahdi also faced mistreatment in the Criminal Investigations. Mahdi is a practicing lawyer.

The family of detainees confirmed that the Security Forces had confiscated “computers and mobile phones” from their houses.

The Ministry of Interior’s statement, issued after the Public Prosecution had interrogated the detainees, indicated that, “the General Directorate of Anti-Corruption and Economic and Electronic Security stated that within the framework of the Security Apparatuses work in combating violations and crimes that occur through the use of social media, a group of people were detected for abusing those methods to defame the King, and thus an inquiry was launched to identify those involved. Six people accused of committing those acts have been referred to the Public Prosecution to face legal action”.

The Constitution of Bahrain points out in Article (33/a): “The King is Head of State, and its nominal representative, and his person is inviolate. He is the loyal protector of the religion and the homeland, and the symbol of national unity.

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) emphasizes that the Bahraini Authorities had violated the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and what the Authorities are doing is considered a security campaign against freedom of opinion and expression.

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) demands:

1. the immediate release of those who were arrested due to freedom of opinion and expression and to drop all charges against them;
2. put an end to the restrictions against social media in Bahrain;
3. protect the free exchange of information on the Internet and not restrict it.

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