7 June 2019 – Social media giant Twitter joined civil society in expressing its concern for the Bahraini government’s recent declaration that it will crack down on critical online posts.
In a tweet posted yesterday, Twitter stated that they agree with civil society that the implementation of such measures would “pose a significant risk to free expression and journalism” in the country. Twitter also advised individuals to view posts from specified accounts without following them to avoid the scrutiny of the Bahraini authorities.
We agree with civil society that recent government statements in #Bahrain about critical online posts will, if implemented, pose a significant risk to free expression and journalism. https://t.co/vt0IDfSqm5
— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) June 6, 2019
On 30 May 3019, Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior announced that “those who follow inciting accounts that promote sedition and circulate their posts will be held legally accountable”.
On 1 June 2019, a Ministry of Interior official further asserted that “countering inciting social media accounts that promote sedition and threaten social fabric and civil peace was a national duty and part of the community partnership to protect the security and safety of the nation.”
Anti-cybercrime: Those who follow inciting accounts that promote sedition and circulate their posts will be held legally accountable
— Ministry of Interior (@moi_bahrain) May 30, 2019
Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Interior accused Bahraini journalist Adel Marzooq of cybercrime because of his analysis of politics in the region on Twitter.
Sayed Ahmed Alwdaei, Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, said: “We welcome Twitter’s recognition of the repression facing civil society in Bahrain and now urge the company to make direct representation to the Government of Bahrain. Other governments should take inspiration from this action and follow suit by condemning Bahrain’s intensified crackdown.”