In “bizarre” summons, Bahraini authorities attempt to interrogate exiled activist

On 16 November 2016, the Government of Bahrain sent masked civilian police and riot police to surround the house of Asma Darwish’s family in Sitra, Bahrain. Authorities sent the police to Darwish’s house to summon her to Bahrain’s Public Prosecution Office (PPO) the next day for charges of “illegal gathering” she allegedly participated in three[…]

Journalist Faisal Hayyat Facing Prison for “Defamatory” Tweets

3 November 2016 – Journalist Faisal Hayyat appeared in court today on charges related to a “defamatory” tweet. His sentencing was postponed to 29 November 2016. We, the undersigned, consider this a violation of his freedom of expression and condemn his prosecution as well as the Bahraini government’s continued criminalization of free speech. Authorities arrested[…]

Saudi State Ideology and Social Media

Saudi Arabia ranks as among the least free countries in the world, with its political, religious, and social spheres characterized by strict state control. Amidst an oppressive public sphere, many activists have turned to online social media as a way to organize and express themselves. However, the government has moved to exert similar control over[…]

#Tried4Tweets: @FadhelAbbasMahd – Fadhel Abbas

In efforts to dispel any criticism towards the Saudi-led coalition’s actions in Yemen, Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) warned in 2015 that it would take steps against anyone expressing opinions “against the approach that Bahrain has taken.” Bahraini authorities acted on the warning when they arrested and imprisoned political leader Fadhel Abbas for posting on[…]

#Tried4Tweets: @N_BinGhaith – Nasser Bin Ghaith

Emirati economist Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith has over 36,000 Twitter followers, none of whom have seen a post from him since 17 August 2015 – the last day he was a free man. On 18 August, security forces in civilian clothing arrested the prominent academic. Emirati security forces held Dr. Bin Ghaith incommunicado for eight[…]