Webmasters must register or face legal action
Webmasters face prosecution if they defy new rules announced by Bahraini authorities. All Bahraini websites set up here or abroad must register with the Information Ministry or face legal action, it was declared yesterday.
A six-month campaign is being launched next Monday to register all Bahraini websites, under orders from Information Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar.
“The ministry will announce soon the details of how each website owner or supervisor can register,” Information Under-Secretary Mahmood Al Mahmood told the GDN.
“If they fail to register then legal action will be taken against them based on the country’s printing and publishing laws.”
He said websites would face similar laws to newspapers, related to libel, public decency and ethics.
Just as a newspaper editor-in-chief is held responsible for what he publishes, so will the webmasters be, he said.
Ministry printing and publishing director Jamal Dawood said registration procedures would be in line with those for all types of publications, including newspapers, leaflets, audio and visual media.
We woke up this morning to this. We first got wind of it through a very Silly site.
That the Ministry of Information continues to innovate and create new ways to drag the name of these islands in shite. The ministry being an extremely important appendage of Bahrain, Inc. can’t have come to this conclusion by themselves, they (the whole government) must be still smarting from the bahrainonline.org debacle, when sane people would think twice on generating adverse publicity once again by trying to control what is printed, this time they seem to have gone a step further and want to penalise us for our thoughts as well.
Nothing new of course, after all, the impression that the Ministry of Information is most concerned about is the complete destruction of Bahrain’s reputation nationally and internationally.
However, the Ministry of Information is really not to blame, it is an executive body trying to keep within the letter of the law. The blame is fully on the parliament’s doorstep and every single member of that impotent organ, be they elected or appointed. Functioning for over 3 years now without a single law that would improve Bahrain’s standing in the world, nor a single one that would improve our standards of living. Unless of course you consider that allowing veiled women to drive, protecting us from Nancy Ajram, or the requests to the Ministry of Works to install traffic bumps on roads achievements.
We have 6 months to fight this brain-fart, or else just shut up and gobble it all up. And although we cannot depend on the parliament, unfortunately it’s the only place we have to petition to do something.
Therefore what I propose is:
1. Don’t register any site, if at the expiry of the 6-month deadline comes about without any progress, put up a statement on our websites declaring the death of freedoms of speech in Bahrain and abandon the sites.
2. Organise an on-line petition where all webmasters and website patrons can electronically sign. At the end of the 6 month period print it out and hand it to the Chairman of the National Assembly. As it is his chamber through Ibrahim Bashmi who is working on the new press and media laws rather than the moronic chamber of representatives.
3. Immediately organise a meeting and invite ALL webmasters to attend to take this issue further.
If they think that we’d be lying down and taking it, they’ve got another thing coming.
Who’s with me?