Libel case going ahead

13 Feb, '07

Unfortunately the mediation between the minister of municipalities and agriculture and myself to resolve the dispute and perceived libel has not been successful. I have demonstrated my good will over the last few days by amending the original article, but that it seems is not enough for the right honourable gentleman.

The minister wants to pursue his legal right and extract his pound of flesh.

I re-iterate that I do not believe what I published was libelous in any way. The intention was never to besmirch his person, but rather I was criticising his ministry, an executive body which not only should accept criticism, but also welcome and encourage it with open arms.

He now wants to take me to court. So be it.

I enjoy the support of a large body of people and also have a lot of human rights and freedom of expression lawyers and advocates standing by me to offer real and direct support in defending this case.

I didn’t want this as I still feel that it is a frivolous case at best, which now will probably turn into a benchmark that will further sully Bahrain’s reputation internationally. You can be sure that this case will now be included in all the press indicies for 2007 as a black spot against this country, thanks to a minister who cannot take criticism.

A press release from the Bahrain Journalists Association will follow shortly. Again, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who stood and will continue to stand by me at this time.

I have restored the article to its former and original glory.

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Comments (37)

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  1. BinShehab says:

    How sad to Bahrain with this step.
    I am supporting you all the way.

  2. Costa-guy says:

    I told you before with MP Mr. Al-A’ali

    Though the MP had the right to pursue such case, but did not.

    It’s your personal right to critisize anyone in the government but the right way and it’s the minister’s right (as citizen) to defend his reputation as well in the same right way.

    Anyway, الله يهدي الجميع ويصلح حالهم

  3. mahmood says:

    What’s the “right way” then? I am absolutely fed up with this, criticism is criticism for God’s sake, and it is done ultimately for the sake of the country or to better a situation. I didn’t criticise anyone so that I could jump up and dance on their grave.

    And all you care about is “the right way?”

    Truth is sometimes (in fact most of the time) ugly. If you can’t take it or won’t take it, then that is NOT my problem and I’m not going to lose sleep over your or their sensitivities.

    If people do not want to be criticised, then they should stay at home and watch TV, NOT participate in public life. But if they do make that choice, they also need to grow up, and ensure that those surrounding them should grow up and take criticism graciously.

  4. AJJ says:

    I am confused now! Which of the possible two cases is proceding despite the mediation – the criminal part (which is solely at the hands of the DPP); or, the civic part (which is totally at the hands of the Minister)?

  5. AJJ says:

    The right way is: “Discretion is the better part of valor”. To be effective, discretion has to precede, not follow misdemeanours. Right Costa-Guy? It’s your call anyway, sorry for going at it first!

  6. Hi Mahmood,

    You have my support. I believe in free speech. However free speech, altough it is a right, comes with certian responsibilities. For example, you cannot be racist.

    I also believe that in a true deomcratic society, citizens should be able to openly critisise their elected officials. After all, they ultimatley work for us.

    Cases such as this happen all over the world, I hope that your case will have an out come which is shows that you did nothing wrong. This will show the world that Bahrain is moving ahead. I hope that this whole thing, goes very quickly and does not put too much hardship on your family and yourslef (a holiday to Australia might be in order when it’s all over!).

    Best of luck


  7. mahmood says:

    AJJ, you’ve got the wrong end of the stick there. What I was doing is giving peace a chance, which you’ve conveniently labeled cowardice.

    Now that that has not had any effect on this particular protagonist, it is time to try other solutions. If these are concepts which are too hard to grasp, please spend some time to investigate them. The exercise will do your intellect good.

  8. knockdown says:

    See, if you do not remember, I will say it again to you. Hadn’t I tell you before that: you would grow to be sorry for your persistent free-for-all misbehaviours? ZZZZZZaaaaaaaaaaaLLLLLLLLZZZZZZaaaaaLLL.

  9. naddooi says:

    Good luck Mahmood! Im sure i speak for more than just myself when i say, you have our support!

    Think im gonna go get some legal explanations on ur case!

  10. tooners says:

    sorry to hear about this…. i can hardly get over all of it.

    you are right in all that you say… hopefully that will prevail.

    stay strong and stick to your guns.

  11. Bernie says:

    What the hell is this person doing in the public gaze if he cannot take honest criticism.
    Does he realise he’s going to get mauled internationally over this and wherever the case goes he’ll lose.

    Very good luck in this Mahmood, you have my support for what it’s worth.

  12. Gibran says:

    best of luck buddy

  13. Butterfly says:

    Not a good start for a new minister. I am just wondering, what he will get out of this? Its a waste of your time and his time. What will his reaction be if he received another criticism? If he react this way to every criticism he will make new enemies every day. What an image he is creating for himself!

    I mean how this will be interpreted by the public? The minister who doesn’t have time to look into people problems because he is busy suing bloggers, journalists or even his next-door neighbor.

    If he think that this is a “dignity case” then he made another mistake. He can earn respect by respecting other people’s opinions, courts will not make people respect him.

    Mahmood, you will be more popular, more ministers will read your blog and who knows may be his majesty the king will read your blog to know what is that silly issue that made the minister so angry and pissed off 🙂

  14. Laura says:

    Hi, Mahmood, I am with you all the way. And I’m glad you restored the article back to the original. I think this minister thought he sensed weakness on your part when you tried to settle this amicably. There are people (bullies) who go for the jugular when they sense blood. This minister is probably as dumb as he looks. Dealing rationally with someone like that is futile. I believe your Courts will be wiser. You will prevail. Hang in there.

  15. Ahmed says:

    You have my support, that’s for sure.

  16. Dr Jensen says:

    Hi Mahmood,

    Good luck with the case. I will follow your blog to learn the outcome.

  17. knockdowny says:

    The hard fact of the matter is that, the sum of all of your support, guys, is less tangible than the support which Mahmood gets from the (his) fellow pictured with him here:

    Unfortunately, tangible, less tagible or intangible, it’s of no use at all.
    He knows it as does the minister and the DPP.

    It’s about time you realized this fact too!

  18. An advise says:

    With the current situation and speculated outcome of it, I think now is the best time to use the jocker card.

  19. Costa-guy says:

    Ok just forget my comment. Criticism is criticism no matter how ugly it is. And we support you 100%

  20. Butterfly says:

    Yes, any may be this time we need to raise a petition to his majesty the king. If journalists and bloggers can’t criticise, then who can??
    Ministers and MPs are not exceptional cases.

  21. Anonymous says:


    Unfortunately, tangible, less tagible or intangible, it’s of no use at all.
    He knows it as does the minister and the DPP.

    You have to wait and see. I started to doubt that you are the coward minister.

  22. This is incredible. Let me know if I can help in any way.

  23. Laurie says:

    The minister of M & A has nothing better to do all day than read blogs and respond by suing people who criticize him? Wow, I need a job like that.

    Sensitivity is usually a good thing, but that means sensitivity to others, not boo-hooing because someone didn’t think you were doing your job.

    Free speech seems to be under attack everywhere. Are the ones in power that afraid? People have been removed from rallies where President Bush is appearing for wearing T-shirts critical of him.

    T-shirts? Blogs? Those are just the opinions of the writers and wearers. They have simply had the courage (or outrage) to put their opinions in writing.

  24. Mansour says:

    ….. wait and see. I started to doubt that you are the coward minister.

    Such comments can only add to Mahmood’s troubles by reinforcing the trend and fact of his blog being a hate-spewing forum!

    The poor his already has to many troubles to tackle in the form of having alreay alienated too many near- and far people. My guess is that it is only a matter of time – “wait and see”? Yes, agreed – for more cases and charges to surface against him in the foreseeble future.

    The first lesson in any thing, Blogging included, is “responsibility or liability”. Many participants ranting in this blog do tend not to show much awareness of this ethic/lesson.

    Beware! Guys and gals!

  25. mahmood says:

    Many participants ranting in this blog do tend not to show much awareness of this ethic/lesson.

    And you, writing under various nicks, are only demonstrating your cowardice, add to that now assuming the personality of another person as well.

    I know you. I know what your problem is. And I don’t give a toss what you think or do. You have a personal problem with me and you are fighting by proxy in a very cowardly manner, which is very typical of you anyway, so there is nothing new.

    Such comments can only add to Mahmood’s troubles by reinforcing the trend and fact of his blog being a hate-spewing forum!

    Says you! Keep your advice to yourself and don’t dare for a second to talk on others’ behalf. You are nothing but a misnomer, look that word up, I doubt that your proficiency in English – as is amply demonstrated by your hate speech – would save you.

    Now go do something constructive, playing in busy traffic would certainly add to your many accomplishments.

  26. Geordie says:

    Even if he decides to drop the case later, i think you shouldnt accept it, and lets humiliate the twat

  27. moodz says:

    Do let us know if there is anything we can do in support of your case Mahmood, you are not alone.

  28. Sami says:

    It’s nice that you restored the original manuscript of the article, after all to be honest with you, it was a mistake that you amended it, because as you said: “I do not believe what I published was libelous in any way”, so why to change it…

    In support of free speech in all Arab nations.

  29. mac says:

    My solidarity from Iran, a country that sees dozens of bloggers arrested or forced to emigrate every month.

    I’ve decided, like you, to stay open with my blog, but all my Iranian friends think I’m mad writing those things in my site – and they’re not even that revolutionary!


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