Out on bail

8 Feb, '07
UPDATE: 9feb07@09:28 It seems that this story is coming to an amicable conclusion due to sincere efforts of intermediaries in the next couple of days, where the plaintiff is said to have accepted to drop the case against Mahmood Al-Yousif in return for removing certain words from the original post published on Dec 22nd, 2006.

Thanks to everyone for their unstinting support and friendship.

and BD500 poorer.

I went to the Public Prosecution office this morning and was there for 8am with plenty to spare. I was led through the corridors and levels of justice up to the 4th floor around 8.30am and sat in a waiting room to await my turn. I invested this time in reading Al-Wasat newspaper which covered this story very well indeed. The GDN and the Bahrain Tribune did too, so thanks go to all of them for their support.

Eventually, the Chief Public Prosecutor for Capital Mr. Wael Buallai invited me to his office to start the proceedings. This is the same gentleman who was given the overall responsibility of overseeing the recent elections in November of last year and I was honoured to meet him. He is a gentleman, very nice and with a charismatic personality. He not only explained to me the charges levied against me and suggested that I could be tried under the Penal Code and/or the Press & Publications Law 47/2002. He then gave me enough time to review the full charges folder before asking me if I needed a lawyer present.

Judging from the charges folder, I thought it would be in my favour to have a lawyer present. I called the lawyer I usually use – who I understand now has not handled a case such as this before – and was grateful for his prompt arrival. He was next door in the courts building.

Soon thereafter the questioning started. It is worth noting that in Bahrain’s law, lawyers present are not allowed to interrupt the public prosecutor during questioning, at all, object to a question nor advise their clients not to answer a particular one! They just sit there until the end of the session at which time they are given the chance to register any complaints and make any demands like asking the prosecutor for a copy of the file and to release the defendant on his own recognizance or on bail, rather than rot in jail over the weekend for instance.

Mr. Buallai is anything but not thorough, he has gone over every word and every sentence written in the original article as well as some of the comments. The whole article and comments were translated into Arabic in the claim’s folder, some of that translation I felt was not correct and he was good enough to register my complaint and record my own translation the article and comments in my words, which I obliged.

Public Prosecution

At the end of the 3 hours of questioning, he asked us to adjourn to the waiting room for him to deliberate. He did, and decided that this case should be regarded as a misdemeanor and set bail at BD500 (US$1,325).

My lawyer insisted on paying that on my behalf and we walked out.

That’s the end of the story currently. What comes next is that the file goes through to the general prosecutor’s office for them to decide whether to accept the case and go through with it to the courts, or refuse it and close the case. That all remains to be seen over the next few days. Unless of course, the plaintiff drops the defamation case against me, then although his case will be dropped, it is again up to the public prosecutor and in the interest of general public whether to go ahead with it or drop it.

What’s next though? What is Mahmood Al-Yousif going to do? Am I going to change the direction of the blog, will I concentrate on non-political articles, will I stop criticising public officials and government performance, will I go underground, should I have refused to post bail and get thrown into prison for a few days in order to be a martyr for the cause? What’s next?

Next is business as usual as far as I am concerned. One thing I would strongly urge Bahraini bloggers to do is go underground. It is not worth getting yourself known as that will only invite suits as I am experiencing now. They can never sue anonymous persons of course and they know it. But I am absolutely gob smacked that a newspaper owner like the right honourable gentleman here actually going ahead with this suit. It is as if he is inviting chaos to his own paper and journalists.

Regardless; what we need to do now, and particularly I, is find ways in which I can criticise, but also hide under the legal umbrella too in order to allay the chances of this happening again. Therefore, although (in this country particularly) it is much better to stay anonymous and not become legally responsible for your words, I cannot – personally – allow myself to do that. I have always been a known entity, and stand fully behind the words I publish here and elsewhere. Therefore, let me announce that I shall arrange for a workshop to be held as soon as possible and to be run by professional journalists to teach us how to criticise, but not get legally caught for our efforts.

I also firmly do not believe that in order for one to make a point, one must “sacrifice” and spend some time in jail. I believe in working within the system, and as such, I welcome fighting the case in court if it ever gets to that stage, in order to set a legal precedent which could be used as a benchmark for the future, rather than allow myself to be thrown in jail and create a fuss which does not create the required legal precedent, but might satisfy some egos.

Thank you again for your very valuable support.

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Comments (90)

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  1. knightrider says:

    I tip my hat in respect to you Mahmood.

    I perhaps take my own freedom of expression a little too lightly – I hope this all turns out well in the end – and that you continue to be able to give your excellent “take” on situations which interest you.

    Mike

  2. Anonymous says:

    whats the country coming to? i’m scared to write what i really think about those “in power” and read these events in the paper; cause in the end of the day they will through you in jail and not me. 🙁

  3. Will says:

    Mahmood are you being held responsible for the contents of the comments section as well?

  4. mahmood says:

    I was at pains to explain the workings of a website, blog and forum and differences to the public prosecutor. He is – thankfully – a very intelligent person who quickly understood the effects and differences, and gave me the impression that although no legal precedent exists, he did not take hold me responsible for comments entered by persons other than myself.

    Although, as I explained, no legal precedent exists to use as a benchmark.

  5. I says:

    Out of interest, does the person making the charges have to be in court, or only the person on the receiving end?

    Was the Right Honourable Minister His Excellency Mr. Mansour bin Hassan bin Rajab or his rep on hand? Or will he be required IF the case goes to court?
    Imagining the worst, the case goes to court. Can the case carry on without his busy self, or will his absence just delay the whole procedures by months? We’ve all seen this scenario many times.

    If only the person getting prosecuted has to be there, it seems a jolly good wheeze to make charges and waste everyone’s time while they just carry on as normal. This cannot be a fair and just method of doing business.

  6. Gibran says:

    Power to you Mahmood!

  7. Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. M says:

    Out on bail, huh? Wow, you are famous, Mahmood, or is that infamous? That’s too bad cause I have this cake with a file in it already specially prepared to come to your aid. Oh well, I don’t suppose homeland security would let me take it out of the country anyway.

    Listen, I cannot tell you how much respect I have for who you are and what you stand for as well as what you having been willing to put on the line for your beliefs. More people need to step up to the plate and do that; because there is strength in numbers, and because people need to be accountable to the people they are suppose to SERVE. If there is a problem, it needs to be fixed, and if there is no solution, the person has not done his job and should expect critism.

    The free speech thing is a no brainer as well; I hope the government understands the world is watching.

    Anytime you need a file, let me know. Good luck.

  9. naddooi says:

    So did you get coffee this time, or was it tea again? 😛

    But seriously, shouldnt they find out WHAT a blog is before blaming a person for using it???

  10. AGA says:

    If I were your lawyer, I’d be in a real pickle. I’d advise you to zip your lips, but knowing you, you wouldn’t :biggrin: and now knowing a bit a Bahrain law, you couldn’t. 🙁 Hopefully, truth is a defense to defamantion, but judging from the comments of Highlander, even persons who purport to dream for freedom of speech, believe that such freedom does not extend to “disrespect” in the form of what is at its worst, merely namecalling. [Not this statement, though, “has been allegedly pursued relentlessly by various businesses and banks for monies owed and allegedly implicated in various corrupt schemes”, which is what would concern me if you were here, but I assume that this is “true”.]

    The frightening thing about this, from my perspective, is that a public official has available criminal prosecution as a possible remedy. Even if the prosecutor excercises his discretion and drops the case, the mere inconvenience of questioning, facing possible charges, and all that goes with that is enough to silence the average dissenting bear. Here, we only allow civil suit as a remedy for defamation (to my knowlege), and we make it a supreme court issue when a civil litigant endeavors to obtain an injuction to restrain speech. See here, for an interesting example.

    Good luck, Mahmood. I pray that you don’t have to “take one for the team,” but if you do, I strongly suspect that in the end, your ongoing efforts to improve your country’s governmental systems and the lives of its citizens will be advanced by this.

    P.S. When this case is resolved, I would suggest that you invite the prosecutor to your gathering of bloggers and journalists to educate everyone on the limits of Bahraini law and his prosecutorial discretion.

  11. Redbelt says:

    guess if you’ll all be masked crusaders, its best to call off public gatherings, huh?

  12. Gary Brown says:

    Mahmood, this is going to be a very interesting time, not only for you, but for many whose voices are not generally heard. Reported in today’s issue of the Bahrain Tribune, you identified what for me is ‘the big question’: Whether or not a citizen of Bahrain has the right to label a government official as anything other than exemplary and to question his or her decisions and actions in a public forum (and the degree to which such a thing is permissible). Furthermore, the case may well set a precedent regarding the status of blogging in the Gulf today. If the court decides that the same laws apply to blogging as to newspaper reporting, then it is indeed a tacit recognition of the importance of the blogging phenomenon.

    I believe that your decision to continue with your blog in the same open spirit on which you have built it and to commit to working ‘within the system’ is honorable, brave and correct.

    May you continue to find satisfaction in this area while giving your many readers the opportunity to take a peek inside some of the less-well-understood mechanics of Bahraini politics and culture.

  13. John Cox says:

    Good luck to you and your family. Sounds like you have the makings of a Bahrain “Profiles in Courage” version.

    It takes courage to stand for your convictions, and I am proud to be your friend.

  14. Capt.Arab says:

    Like Al Pacino in ScarFace said.. “Say hello to my little friends”.. Mahmood.. Take them on !!!! There is a saying which I always remind myself of in times like these.. “للحق دولة وللباطل جولة” – said by Ali ibn Abi-Taleb.

    Good Luck Bro…

  15. We are all behind you Mahmood! This is outrageous! :angry:

  16. mahmood says:

    Thank you Jamal, I knew you and the family would be there for me.

  17. Anonymous says:

    What a waste time and energy : yours and that of all the civil (and uncivil) servants involved in the ‘case’. What a shame. :wub:
    I echo Gibran’s . Power to you, Mahommod. AbuRasool

  18. DC says:

    Hello Mahmood.
    I follow your blog..never commented until today.
    to you, and for all what you blogged, I say: BRAVO !

    I was advised by a close friend, who is a blogger and a professional journalist/columnist to creat a blog for myself. I have been thinking about it for over six months, and today, aftere reading what you went through, I say I hear you loud and clear when you talk about going underground. But I also think, on the other hand, that the whole point of blogging is to say what we think and be read in hope that what we write might make a difference. Why can’t we be free to stand in bright daylight with our faces and names known? why is hiding and living undercover should become the regular and safer choice? does safty win over freedom of thaught and freedom of speach? i think yes it does because thinkers and writers will always be the weaker group in the land of “law and order”, a land that belongs to a group of tens of systems that claim “law and order”.
    so no. i will not blog, i will not write, but, by God, I shall always be free and, by God, I shall always have an openion.

  19. DC.. Habibti.. Yes.. You are free and you will always be free.. And you are opinionated indeed.. and as a friend, I treasure your opinions and brilliant thought.. but I beg to disagree with you: how can you be free when you cannot speak your mind and call a spade a spade? how can you be free when constructive criticism is not tolerated? how can you be free when there is a law underminding everything you utter? how can you be free when you cannot question anyone in authority? how can you be free when you are watched? how can you be free when someone is keeping a tab on what you think of and can use it against you when he wants to? how can you be free when your voice is suppressed? how can you be free when you are oppressed? how can you be free when the rules which control you deem you repressed? any other words which end with ‘essed’? I can’t be arsed to look them up!!

  20. Einar G says:

    A «family lawyer» is usually well qualified for procedure questions etc., but to stay on the offensive, you would benefit from someone who handles these questions on a regular basis.

    Newspapers experience such «attacks» at regular intervals, and should be able to get you in touch with a specialized lawyer. If nothing else he/she could assist the lawyer you currently use.

    While I don’t doubt that you could afford such an investment, I would be equally GLAD to contribute towards your legal expenses. Set up an PayPal account, and I’m sure others would do the same!

  21. DC says:

    sillybahrainigirl,

    to answer you, simply, i can be free and infact I am free because I choose freely , i think freely and am free to believe and think what i choose to be beleive and think. no one can take that away from, not even if jailed. they can take away my voice but never my openion. never my freedom.

    I choose to be safe over the choice to speak and write freely because i do not beleive that going to jail for what i think will make any difference. we can shout all we like and we’ll be heared and ignored anyway.

  22. I am with you, Mahmood. Your opponents are tyrants; plain and simple. :angry:

  23. Bahrainiac says:

    May you fight the good fight and prevail. A courageous stance by a courageous man. Hat’s off to you sir!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Mahmood this situation is a prefect summary of the current political scenario in Bahrain. You should use your upcoming interview on al Jazeera international to broadcast the problem. Whenever a negative issue is brought up against the government whether it’s the Bander report or criticism of a Minister; the government tries to place a blank over the issue pretending it doesn’t exist. They use our biased legal system to silence their critics. I see no difference between the government placing a full media gag on the bander case and this minister lodging a case against you. Unfortunately you were unlucky to have been hit twice.

  25. Anon says:

    I second Einar’s comment. Set up a paypal account – I will be happy to contribute to any additional legal expenses as well.

  26. An friend who had to shut down his blog because his work wouldn’t let him blog decided to just leave comments on friends’ blogs instead, and then linked them together via Del.icio.us. Voila: A virtual blog.

    Try it:-) That ought to be far too mind-blowing and abstract for those in your government with little, closed minds to even begin to understand what that is.

  27. Butterfly says:

    Mahmood,
    I think you need to learn the rule of the game. If you noticed, many Journalists in Bahrain raised hot issues lately and nobody took them to court.

    There are many tricks when it comes to selecting your words and sending the message without taking the risk of being sued. One of my colleagues attended a training course on this subject lately and he is an expert now 🙂

    At least you will be in a better position to defend yourself and know your rights without consulting a lawyer.

  28. Hisham says:

    Hang in there, buddy!

  29. milter says:

    From The Bahrain Constitution – 2002

    “Article 23 [Expression]
    Freedom of opinion and scientific research is guaranteed. Everyone has the right to express his opinion and publish it by word of mouth, in writing or otherwise under the rules and conditions laid down by law, provided that the fundamental beliefs of Islamic doctrine are not infringed, the unity of the people is not prejudiced, and discord or sectarianism is not aroused.

    From what I understand you are not being sued because of defamation of the ruling family, Islam or for inciting sectarian violence. All you’ve done is to step too hard on somebody’s toes.

    Maybe his threshold of pain is lower than that of most other people but, in the end it comes down to what the law says about the part I have stressed above.

    People in public positions should be prepared and willing to face criticism, sometimes even criticism of a harsh nature, as long as the comments don’t go to the extent of accusing them of having broken the law without any rock solid evidence.

    If a person can drag somebody else into court and win it because his “pride has been hurt”, then something is wrong with the understanding of what is considered an “acceptable level of pain”.

    Disputes like that should be settled with words and facts, not through court cases.

    So, Mahmood, you have my full support and sympathy. I doubt it will help you much in court, but, at least you can go through this, knowing that you have moral backing from a lot of friends and family.

  30. Esra'a says:

    DC,

    I choose to be safe over the choice to speak and write freely because i do not beleive that going to jail for what i think will make any difference.

    That fear means that you aren’t free, though, so it’s a bit contradictory to what you said earlier.

    To be free, and to have real freedom of expression, it means no fear. The only laws against it should be hate speech and incitement (of violence and crime.)

    Sure, you are free to have an opinion, but you choosing not to express it out of fear … that’s not freedom.

  31. Bernie says:

    You’re a brave man Mahmood. If there is anything I can do don’t hesitate to let me know.

    I mean it.

  32. While hate speech should be condemned, it should be condemned in the court of public opinion, not law. Only incitement to violence should be prohibited. Best to let hateful people have their say, so you know what they think and how to counter their ideas. Don’t push them underground where their prejudices fester unchallenged.

  33. mahmood says:

    Butterfly:

    There are many tricks when it comes to selecting your words and sending the message without taking the risk of being sued. One of my colleagues attended a training course on this subject lately and he is an expert now

    The ironic thing is that I am part of the organisation that created and organised that workshop!

    Unfortunately I couldn’t attend due to my being bedridden at the time.

    I agree with you fully now about modes of criticism and i should be a little bit more intelligent in the way I write things from now on.

  34. Butterfly says:

    يعنى باب النجار مخلوع 🙂

  35. mahmood says:

    completely and utterly! blame the segway 😎

  36. Hang in there Mahmood! I am reminded why I chose to go anonymous on my blog…

  37. Butterfly says:

    eheheh .. you will get out of this too, I am sure.

  38. Butterfly says:

    You know what is the problem Mahmood? Arabic language is very rich and a word can mean 100 things. Just think of these words for example:

    قدح .. ذم .. تجريح

    Tell me how many things you can think of under each of the above words. That way, every act can be considered as a crime!

  39. Ameer Or Prince says:

    This is one step towards ‘teaching’ democracy to illiterate Bahrainis; Goverment’s Style. Hang in there Mahmood.

  40. mishmish says:

    Looks like things are being resolved – good for you Mahmood – but what is even better is that you stick to what you believe in. And quite right, this does not need to extend to jail-time.

    We look forward to seeing your new eloquently packaged commentaries – perhaps there’s a case here for coming up with some wonderful bits of sarcasm and other word art which will elegantly cloak the matters yet at the same time keep it all crystal clear, much to the delight of your dedicated readers and the confusion of those who’ll never get it. I’m certain you’re up for that challenge and you’ll excel at it !

    😎

  41. mishmish says:

    For some inspiration: http://www.theonion.com

    :biggrin:

  42. mishmish says:

    I see Lulu at Lulu’s Bahrain has already started it…Love it !!!! 😆

  43. Amira says:

    Dear Mahmood,

    I began to think about my freedom here in the states. There are differences my friend. I will keep up in my prayers. Mahmood, you are a voice for those’s who have been wronged. You are a voice in a part of the world that doesn’t allow freedom of speech. Your a maverick in enriching us to the cause of injustice to mankind. I salute you; I am proud to know you.

    Best Regards,
    Amira amirahgabrielle@yahoo.com

  44. Troy Z says:

    Dear Mahmood:

    I offer condolences that you have to put up with this nonsense. I can’t pretend to know any of the mechanisms of the Bahraini legal system, but gut reaction says this is just f’ed up by any standard.

    I was wondering, though: does it help or hinder that the blog on which you comment on political matters is in the English language? “Ze Authorities,” of whatever stripe or country, may always freak out unnecessaily if a local blog is not in the native language as they may ascribe all manner of speculation, correct or incorrect, to its content, and even if they themselves don’t, they may be in a position to present it as such to the populace with an alarmist bent. I genuinely believe your intent is to chronicle the progressive review of the Bahraini government and infrastructure as well as its society. Previous entries in which you OFFER ACTUAL SOLUTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES is the evidence of this that puts you above most other bloggers and, let’s face it, officeholders worldwide. But is it counterproductive to write in a language that the mass of the voting base doesn’t understand? The http://ar.mahmood.tv/ seems more neutral, relatively picture-intensive and doesn’t seem to have the regularity of updates that this one has. It is not my intention to goad you away from your strategic long-term habits or comfort zone. I just always get the impression from your writing that you are always on the cusp of getting results favorable to the Bahraini people, if not outright elected for public office, and more of a presence on the Arabic-language front may help. However, you do know the situation better than I, and I defer to that expertise.

    But I agree that you can’t go to prison. You’re just too pretty. 😆

  45. Bernie says:

    Just read the new front page message and I really hope it works out.

  46. billT says:

    Proud to be your friend Mahmood.

  47. Ozzy says:

    Sorry for the comment earlier…i didnt mean to get you into any kind of trouble….sorry once again.. :pouty:
    Good luck

  48. Mahmood:

    I have told you before how the New World Order is laying down control grids world-wide. I have also told you how they are all working together via the International Banksters. I have also posted several times how they plan to throw the entire Middle East into un-ending chaos.

    Yes, it is true. I have made a couple of drunken posts which you barred me for…way back when…over a year ago.

    NOW is the time to wake up and realize what is happening. While the “Globalist Elite” use the United States Army to start WWIII against Iran, they are clamping down on “little Bahrain” to eliminate desenting voices. Yours yells loudly across the Internet. You should consider all this.

    Besides, you are an UPSTANDING CITIZEN OF BAHRAIN!!! You are a target.

    Why? Because you post about the jack-off cheesy political situation in Bahrain? NO. Because you are intelligent, educated, well informed, and a LEADER!!!

    I will post a tribute to you on my blog in the next few days.

    In the meantime, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!!
    —CQ

  49. Mahmood

    I hurt for you. More than that I hurt for Bahrain; how one person can choke the life out of a thriving community. Insha’allah this will not end the blogging. All I have to say is that this is now Reason no. 735 why I put up with sub-zero temperatures rather than head home.

  50. Laurie says:

    When I started reading your most recent post, I was in shock. It’s hard to believe that someone could be so offended by what you’ve written to file charges aginst you. The update has left me relieved.

    Now, one question. Will your lawyer get his money back?

  51. Pamela says:

    Mahmood,

    Always keeping you and your family in my thoughts. May freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas take hold in the Arab world!

    God Bless you.

  52. Anonymous says:

    mahmood do you get your 500BD back? you could use it to but the iphones. :tongue:

  53. moclippa says:

    Glad to know the case is being dropped.

    I certainly hope you keep at what you are doing Mahmood, but I respect any decision you take in the tone of this blog following these events.

    My gratitude as well to your family who were wonderful to me when I was in Bahrain, I hope they are all coping well with this situation….

    At the end of the day, its the newspaper and its owner that come out losers because of this whole fiasco, you have everything to gain from this situation… at least in terms of respect and honor for your position and stance…. Your wallet must be sad for its loss though…

    Rest in Peace oh Ye wonderful 500B.D.

  54. Butterfly says:

    Congratulations!
    وعودة محمودة يا محمود

  55. moclippa says:

    As I was reading this I thought of a stanza I read once by Pablo Neruda:

    ——
    When I was writing my love poems, which sprouted out from me
    on all sides, and I was dying of depression,
    nomadic, abandoned, gnawing on the alphabet,
    they said to me: “What a great man you are, Theocritus!”
    I am not Theocritus: I took life
    and I faced her and kissed her,
    and then went through the tunnels of the mines
    to see how other men live.
    And when I came out, my hands stained with garbage and sadness,
    I held my hands up and showed them to the generals,
    and said: “I am not a part of this crime.”
    They started to cough, showed disgust, left off saying hello,
    gave up calling me Theocritus, and ended up by insulting me
    and assigning the entire police force to arrest me
    because I didn’t continue to be occupied exclusively with metaphysical subjects.
    But I had brought joy over to my side.

    ——

    Keep a chin up!

  56. Rayyash says:

    You know more then any one else that I don’t agree with half of what you write but I will be standing and shouting to defend your wrights even if I don’t believe in your ideology.

  57. Mr. B says:

    Wait a minute, i dont get this.. arent u Mahmood more famous now and more people are on your side and not the Minister? isnt what the Minister did shameful now?? do u think he will get further respect around his circles of people? I think what that Minister did was bury himself into this stupid cry-baby image and people would make fun of.. and YOU Mahmood now have the upper hand!

    Mahmood dont let this deter u.. fine u had to pay 500BD, others I hope come forth and do such blogs like yours and they may have to fork up 500 too.. but hey it’s a tiny price to pay for now and i am quite sure such stupid rules will either be less used in time and may be totally changed for the better.

    You’re at the forefront Mahmood, please stay where you and continue what u do!!

  58. Don Cox says:

    You have my respect.

    It is true that there are ways of writing things that make the message clear without saying exactly what you mean. For instance, the British magazine “Private Eye” never says somebody was drunk; they use the expression “tired and emotional”.

    But really, politicians have to realise that being insulted is part of the job. They are paid by the citizens to do their job, not to be popular or universally admired.

  59. ASKAD says:

    You are BD 500 poor, but now more rich with all of your friends.

  60. mahmood says:

    Thanks all, once again, I am truly indebted to you for your support.

  61. Highlander says:

    If you believe in democracy and shout for it, why did you delete my comments?!! Is it because I wrote that what you did was wrong and you should not talk about anyone ever (official or normal person) if no substantial proof is available under your hand? Or is it because I mentioned that I am with the government that anyone (one I say anyone, I mean ANYONE) who across his limits and start talking and swearing at others, should be jailed.

    Can you answer Mahmood , I am sure you cannot.

  62. mahmood says:

    Jumping to conclusions again?

    I didn’t delete any comment at all, could it be that the spam blocker took them?

    And I am not particularly perturbed by your accusations or for the fact that you allegedly work for the government (of course we just don’t know, as you choose to hide behind an anonymous name. Would you ever “come out” and face the music yourself I wonder? Or are you comfortable throwing stones while behind a wall? Cowardly behavior don’t you think?)

    Bahrain, much to your chagrin, is supposed to be the land of encoded laws and establishments, is it not?

    So if you do have a problem with me – and it is rather evident that you do, and I have no idea how I stepped on your tail – go to court!

    See you there. Until then, I shall resolutely ignore you specifically for the anonymous ignoramus you are.

    Now bugger off.

  63. mahmood says:

    nope, nothing in the spam queue by you unfortunately, although I’m quite sure that reading about penis enlarging tablets is actually much more interesting that your literate retorts.

  64. Bandargate says:

    Congratulations Mahmood, you’ve handled it very well :biggrin:

  65. Bandargate says:

    Highlander:

    You’ve left your comments here, go ahead and click on the following link

    http://mahmood.tv/2007/02/07/interrogated/

  66. dickie says:

    mahmood,
    i live in philadelhpia pennsylvania, where our Declaration of Independance was penned. maybe because of that i can truly appreciate your struggle and willingness to follow through.

    “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government”.

    i add this for those of you readers who have never read the Document, which has become the template and standard for all free thinking peoples.

    fight the good fight,
    cheers

  67. I says:

    Highlander,
    What has got you all rattled? Are you afraid that your cosy little world where you don’t have to do very much, apart from turn up, to earn a salary is about to be slightly jeopardised? If you honestly think that Bahrain has a good, free, open society, then you are seriously delusioned. It was not too many years ago that you could have called it a benevolent dictatorship. Benevolent being relative as to who you were.

    It really sounds like someone is getting very petty and insecure. If you can’t critisise the government when they are not doing their job properly how are you ever going to effect change? If you see fraud, waste and abuse, it’s the job of every citizen to point it out. It’s also the job of the government to sort it out and to cut back on such practices. If a minister gets upset by someone calling him a twerp, or slightly stronger then, I believe, he doesn’t have the cojones for office, and should be replaced by someone who can do the job effectively.
    It really sounds like ‘Oh mummy, the boys are calling me names’. How pathetic is that!

  68. William says:

    Dear Mr. Mahmood-

    How inconsiderate of you. I’ve never seen such a little crybaby in my whole life! It’s the people like you that ruin the fun for the few rich, elite upperclass who want to have complete control of a people. I mean, they just want you to shut up a little bit so they can continue to dictate your lives and force Islam uppon you with as little resistance as possible. Is that so much to ask?

    I suggest you stop oppressing the upper class, it is just distasteful.

    -William

  69. Publia says:

    The fact that this problem was addressed in a court of law, rather than by private vengence, and the fact that you were able to have a lawyer are all positive and bode well for the future of Bahrain. From your update, it appears that an amicable resolution has been reached. Law courts and lawyers do tend to encourage settlements.. Once the rule of law is in place, improving the law is very likely to follow. That has centainly been the history of freedom of speech in the US.

    Keep blogging. If you are nervous about political comment at the moment, we always like to hear about your garden and other events. The advent of the Internet is likely to improve freedom of speech in a worldwide, unprecedented fashion. Maybe have a few lawyers at your workshop who can more fully acquaint you with the ins and outs of your laws as they relate to journalism and other writing.

  70. Johnster says:

    Since the wheels of justice seem to be spinning here at the mo, whatever happened to justice for the victims of the dhow murder?

    Or is that too uncomfortable to be brought into the public domanin these days?

  71. mahmood says:

    Looks like libel cases brought by ministers against citizens certainly are rather important judging by the speed it went through:

      1. complaint lodged on 4th Feb
      2. called for “an interview” with the Anti-Economic Crimes unit on the 6th to present myself at 8.30am on the 7th
      3. Interview conducted on the 7th.
      4. Charges levied against me by the public prosecutor on the 8th
      5. released on bail on the same day!

    The Dhow Disaster case is proceeding apace too, but whether the libel case is more important than 58 lives? Well, I personally was made to feel that it is so, but I am sure others would disagree.

    (marks out of 10 please! :cwy: )

  72. M says:

    Well as I opened the inside page of the newspaper this morning, guess whose lovely puss was staring back at me in a half page piece. Yep, you guessed it; it seems our Mahmood really is famous now. Good thing he likes to garden and dig in the dirt cause that will keep him humble. 🙂

    Way to go, Mahmood. Hang in there.

  73. mahmood says:

    which paper was that M? can you give me a link?

  74. Anonymous says:

    i dont know which paper “M” read, but Gulf News wrote about you today.

    http://www.gulfnews.com/region/Bahrain/10103044.html

  75. M says:

    Mahmood,

    It was just our local paper here in Maine, The Morning Sentinel; I did look at their online version, but it’s not there. Anyway it was an AP story about bloggers effect on the political and social dialogue in countries around the world especially in the ME and mentions Wael Abbas in Egypt as well. Written by Anna Johnson, AP writer, and the picture is of you with your apple on your lap at home in what looks like a library. Story mentions the Den being blocked etc. Probably could find it on an AP site. Sorry, best I could do.

  76. Johnster says:

    Mahmood

    I just want to express my sympathy for your tingue – it must be so chewed up and bleeding since you are having to bite it so much 😉

  77. Johnster says:

    oops, I meant “tongue” not “tingue”

  78. Bukra Tshuf says:

    The honourable brand new minister (it’s the guy in the middle with the imbecilic grin), who was an insignificant member of the previous Shura council with nary a proposition to his name, but has been allegedly pursued relentlessly by various businesses and banks for monies owed and allegedly implicated in various corrupt schemes, declared …….

    I guess HE was bothered by this part of the post in question. Was he?

    The operative passges, to my mind are three: “imbecilic grin”; “allegedly pursued relentlessly … for monies owed”; and “allegedly implicated in various corrupt schemes”.

    First the good news and starting with the “grin” thing. Whether a law court would hold that it is an offence as per the Penal Code of Bahrain is really uncertain. Most fair-minded people, including many criminal judges in Bahraini law courts, would dismiss the charge on such a basis. The contrary is also possible, unfortunately.

    On to the re-statement of purported ‘allegations’. The bad news is that Article No. 95 of the Criminal Code strips D from asserting that “it was just a re-statement of stories and rumours, that were already in circulation“.

    Now, the good news is that all is a ‘misdemeanour’ and this categorization was confirmed to be so by Capt. Wael Buallai. As per Article No. 14 of the Penal Code, the Prosection always has to prove ‘intention’ even vis-avis a misdemeanour unless the law clearly states otherwise. To be short, Mahmood has already raised the defence of there being no intention – keep it that way. This defence wins on ‘balance’ basis. It can, be dfeated, however, but only if Prosecution can prove ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that there was outlawed intention behind the action. So, conviction is hard to attain in this case, I would guess.

    Finally, as to whether HE drops the complaint, in an amicble arragement, I would press charges only if it were most likely that doing so would lead to conviction – if I were prosecting this case. Since this outcome is most unlikely, I would tend to conclude by saying that the whole job (of calling and filing and investigating) was intended merely as a simmering and deterrent to the maximum extent possible. Unfortunately, it is most likely to go with complete impunity.

    Good luck to all.

  79. Maverick says:

    Your blog is your personal space and open to some public. It is your right to speak the truth, the blatant one at best. Hoever it seems that over the past year or so as you have felt and tested the boundaries, you have chaieved many breakthtoughs and pioneerd teh way for other prospectors, so to say. :w00t: :w00t: 🙂

    It is a crying shame that you cannot speak you mind without treading on toes. In this part of the world, it is difficult to look at people without insulting them or getting their enitre family to be insulted also. :angry:

    I firmly believe that even though you irked some persons, it was out of a sincere desire to see a positive change, politically, socially, culturally and spiritually. The so called affected party could have takn the hint and proved you wrong, but instead they chose the war path like the US leaders and deceided to bring the whole admin into play. :blink: :angry: :sick: Yes it sickens me to think that you cannot talk about the truth and live to expect positive change. Encouraged by you, I wanted to start my own blog, I was not able to for lack of time…and not this further seems to discourage me. No not that I am interested in tackling bold subjects like you, but just the thought that my ideas or talk can tick someone off especially when they need awakening.

    Perhaps the strategy would be like to adress pressing issues like Oscar Wilde did or like Jonathan Swift. Perhaps disguised sardonic humor or sattire is called for. What ever it is Mahmood, we stand by you and I firmly believe that such action on the part of the affected was uncalled for….I will pray and keep hope that this case is dismissed. Stand firm and pround to be a good human that you have always been and leader among your people. May Allah bless you and your family abundantly and keep you safe and healthy. 🙂

  80. mohammed says:

    good luck

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