31 January 2007
Freedom of speech
In Bahrain, we are free to speak, a lot. In fact, we can speak all the time if we want. We totally have freedom of speech. I mean, that is what we tell the world. We also have political reform and democracy. We don't jail people for writing, or political speech, God forbid. We also never jail people for speaking peacefully against the elections. No. We only jail them for "disturbing the public interest."
That is what we do. Of course, by peacefully writing to call for an election boycott, Mohamed Said and Hussein AlHibshi disturbed that interest a lot. For the full menu of disturbance crimes available, please consult the press law of 2002.
Final piece of trivia, and to put things in perspective:
The 6-month and 1 year sentences to Dr. Said and Al-Hibshi was passed by the lower criminal court. It's the same court that will be hearing the case of the former Housing Bank GM, accused of corruption, misuse of power, stealing over BD 840,000 from the bank, distributing the banks furniture (go figure), faciliating financial crimes, and somewhat driving the bank to the ground. I guess that's almost as bad as writing something.
News of the sentence: http://www.elaph.com/ElaphWeb/Politics/2007/1/208028.htm