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Bahrain Sends Six To Prison For A Year For ‘Insulting’ Tweets

There are consequences for what you tweet – particularly if you live in Bahrain. A court there just sentenced six people to jail time for posting insults.

Yeah, you’d probably be looking at a life sentence for the stuff YOU tweet. I know I won’t be visiting that lovely locale any time soon!

Al Jazeera reports a “Bahraini court has sentenced six Twitter users to one year in prison for allegedly insulting King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, according to the public prosecutor’s office.”

The six were charged by the lower criminal court with “misusing the right of free expression,” the government statement, which was posted online, said on Wednesday.

The six Twitter users were accused of writing remarks “undermining the values and traditions of Bahrain’s society towards the king on Twitter”, according to the statement, which did not identify the people who were accused.

Activists in Bahrain, the scene of an uprising that began two years ago against the ruling monarchy, use Twitter as a platform to report what they describe as regime “violations” against them.

And even if they can somehow get the charges dismissed, that won’t guarantee their freedom. “Nabil Rajab, a prominent activist who heads the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, has been in custody since June 6 on charges of insulting members of the majority Sunni community via Twitter,” even though a judge overturned his sentence. It seems he’s also guilty of (the vague charge of) “inciting” people to act out against the military.

So even without the ability to intercept tweets, people are being jailed. Looks like they’re even LESS tolerant of Twitter than their Saudi neighbors, hmm?

Is it time to learn how to use ‘online’ anonymously? And who has time for that?

(Image from Shutterstock)

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