RSF’s 2006 Internet Report

2 May, '06

Here’s what RSF have to say about Bahrain:

Except for pornographic sites, Bahrain does not censor the Internet much. But it has unfortunately begun to regulate it in ways that endanger freedom of expression. The government said in April 2004 that all online publications, including forums and blogs, must be officially registered. Loud protests led to suspension of the measure but it is still on the books. Three editors of a forum were held for nearly two weeks in March 2005 for allowing “defamation” of the king to be posted.

Download RSF’s 2006 Internet Report (pdf)

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Comments (9)

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  1. %50 says:

    pornographic sites are not censored, enough

    off topic
    the new inernet prices
    crap batelco o_O

  2. Ingrid says:

    mahmoud, do you think that you would need to be careful if that were to pass? You’re a vocal, smart thinking person and as such, how can you not be critical? We’ll wait and see.

  3. Will says:

    How can the idea of censorship be anything other than counter intuitive to the public? Isnt there a general sense of rejection against this?

  4. Ibn says:


    Does Bahrain have more freedom of expression than the UAE? Or Qatar for that matter? What do you think?

    My next question was going to be how much do the muatineen value freedom of expression in your country? The article above said that a fuss was made when in April 2004 the govn wanted to register all online forums – what was the magnitude of this? If its as big as I hope for it to be, its great GREAT news…


  5. mahmood says:

    The “fuss” was started basically by bloggers and forum moderators, writing to papers and just basically churning one article after another about the depravity of this law. It is apparent that the message has got through to the powers that be and they put a hold on the project, but didn’t have the balls to come out and cancel it outright, complete with an apology for this brain-fart nor firing the brain-fartist (Jamal Dawood) for his effort, yet.

    Look at the archive for that period in this and other blogs to catch up on this issue.

  6. mahmood says:

    Oh, on how much do we value freedoms of speech in Bahrain, I would say emphatically that we value it very very much, looking at the type of articles that carry criticisms both in the traditional and online media leads one to believe that this is so true.

    I don’t have hard figures, nor do I know if most people would like a “limit” to freedoms of expression when it comes to culturally sensitive issues. But generally I think (and hope) that that ceiling is quite high.

    Now would people come out in the street and fight for that right if and when it is curtailed, is another matter altogether…

  7. mahmood says:

    Ingrid, I’ve been thinking an awful lot about this for a while now, certainly since they apprehended the’s moderators and when the Ministry of Information brought out its administrative order requiring all websites to be forcefully registered; however, I think that ironically being “known” – as in not blogging anonymously – gives me more credibility and that one hopes would give me some kind of immunity.

    Can you imagine the outcry that would happen if a journalist or a human rights worker gets apprehended for any reason whatsoever now? I would hope that IF I find myself in the same situation, people will talk in international and local circles to exert enough pressure to get me released!

    The government here is extremely careful in harassing journalists and human rights activists, even with the higher profile cases they tend to treat them with kids’ gloves. That tells me that the government also respects people who genuinely want to achieve change without resorting to violence.

  8. Jinny says:

    I downloaded the DSF report, but got only 4 pages that were very selective. Didn’t include UAE, for example.

  9. Ingrid says:

    Mahmoud, I think you could definitely count on your blogger friends to cry major foul and bloody hell! (well , so to speak)
    Let’s hope it won’t come to that. I really enjoy your posts and it teaches me a lot that I did not know about when I did have the good fortune to travel to your country.

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