Manama, Asharq Al-Awsat – A Bahraini official announced on Monday that the authorities in his country had blocked two websites – the Bahrain Forum and the Arabian Kingdom of Bahrain Forum – for engaging in topics and articles “that compromise national unity and fuel discord between Bahrainis” and “promote sedition and drive wedges in society.”
The Bahrain News Agency quoted Publications and Publishing Director General Dr. Abdullah Abdul-Rahman Yateem as saying that “the two blogs engage in issues that compromise national unity and fuel discord between Bahrainis. These websites have dealt with issues and featured articles that harm civic peace and the public interest.”
Dr. Abdullah Abdul-Rahman Yateem also said that “the Information Affairs Authority has also cracked down on both websites for deliberately defaming sects and questioning their creed and belittling their religious thoughts. Such detrimental issues may fuel sectarianism, rancour, and hatred among Bahrainis, who are famed for their magnanimity, tolerance, and coexistence, and contravene rules and laws in the Kingdom.”
Bahraini authorities also recently blocked Al-Wefaq Islamic Society’s website, a move that was met with resistance by the opposition in Bahrain. The authorities shut down this website for violating Bahrain’s rules and regulations and engaging in detrimental issues.
Dr. Abdullah Abdul-Rahman Yateem went on to urge other websites and forums to “abide by regulations that ensure freedom for everyone, providing laws are respected.” He also vowed that the Information Affairs Authority would continue to crack down on rogue websites that are “targeting the achievements of His Majesty King Hamad’s reform project, defaming individuals or fuelling sectarianism and sowing discord.”