Bahrain arrests social media users for posting ‘instigative’ content

Bahrain has arrested an unknown number of people in the country for posting “instigative” content on social media, the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

Their posts were in “violation of the law”, BNA quoted the director of Anti-Corruption and Economic and Electronic Security as saying.

He said the Directorate monitored a number of social media accounts for posting material that ‘affronted others’.

Investigations led to the identity of the individuals involved and they were arrested after a warrant was issued by the Public Prosecution, BNA said.

All the required legal procedures were taken before referring the accused to the Public Prosecution, the director added.

No details were disclosed about the type of content or on what social media platforms the material was posted.

The Gulf countries have very strict laws governing the use of social media.

Prominent Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab was recently re-arrested over charges of “spreading false news and rumours about the internal situation in a bid to discredit Bahrain”, mainly on social media.

He is accused of tweeting information that “could incite others and disrupt civil peace,” according to Bahrain’s Human Rights Watch.

Officials in the United Arab Emirates have also warned people in the country against spreading false information via social media, adding that they can face punishment under law.

Earlier this year, a Gulf national also sentenced to three years in prison and fined Dhs 50,000 by the UAE Federal Supreme Court after he was found guilty of insulting the country on WhatsApp.

He was charged with “disseminating information with a view to ridicule and damage the reputation of the state symbols”.

In March, it was reported that an Asian man in the UAE also faced deportation after a court in the country found him guilty of ‘insulting his friend’ on messaging service WhatsApp.

Source:http://gulfbusiness.com/bahrain-arrests-social-media-users-posting-instigative-content/

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