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Lawyer charged for ‘seditious posts’

PROMINENT Bahraini lawyer and campaigner Abdullah Hashim was charged by authorities for posting “seditious” social media posts and publishing “fake news reports” yesterday.

Bahrain’s Public Prosecutor issued a statement announcing the arrest of an unnamed individual over “misuse” of social media intended to “harm the public order.”

Mr Hashim confirmed that he had been summoned and tweeted: “It is likely to be related to my Twitter activities regarding cases related to our national and social issues.”

The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (Bird) spoke to a lawyer who confirmed that authorities had ordered the detention of Mr Hashim for a week, pending investigations.

Bahrain’s crackdown on social media accounts has intensified since 2017. Last July, Bahrain’s interior minister issued a statement saying he would punish individuals who use social media to “instigate disturbances and sedition.” 

Bird spokesman Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei said: “Once again Bahrain shows no tolerance for freedom of expression. This time its victim is a prominent corporate lawyer who dared to speak his mind about human rights and politics in the country.

“Bahrain’s allies in London and Washington must not remain silent on this injustice and should demand Abdullah’s immediate and unconditional release.”

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