One more site blocked in Bahrain

It used to be just 9 that were blocked:

and now, it appears that someone who is really shaking in his boots and deems it very necessary to protect us from ourselves and protect the country from those nefarious people hell bent on toppling the government has done the right thing™ and blocked…

Well done! I am sure the blocking of these sites will contribute greatly to the country’s standing in the Freedom of the Press index, the Human Rights index (which Bahrain actually is on that council in the UN!!) and will also assist Shaikha Haya bint Rashed Al-Khalifa in her role as the PRESIDENT of the United Nations and gain her and Bahrain even more respect and credibility to continue to be in that role.

Of course, that brainfartist probably doesn’t know that it is becoming easier every day to unblock sites, no matter what their contents are.

Welllll done!

But then one must ask the question… who’s next?

  • guest
    26 October 2006

    you? 😉

  • bahraini4eva
    26 October 2006

    well what do we have here? same old same old.. a speical eid gift to all bahrainis from our misery of disinformation.. keep it up mr.abdu, soon your ministry will be disolved but that doesn’t really matter as this obviously is coming from higher up gov’t officials!

  • Ibn
    26 October 2006


    This brings me back to my worry before – just how arbitrary are…well… executive decisions in Bahrain?…

    How solid is the rule of law? … What stops some high up government official from saying: “Mahmood’s Den is threatening to topple the government – lets close it down.”?

    I ask because I worry about your blog. 🙁


  • nomadic arab
    26 October 2006

    god help us if mahmood’s den goes down. where am i going to get updates on my lovely pitbabes? we’re doomed. doomed i tell you, doomed.

  • Ali K
    26 October 2006

    okay.. now I know why the bahrain times site is blocked..

  • Costa-guy
    27 October 2006

    If you really want to see a site that should be blocked take a look at this..

    -It’s an Arabic forum-

    Just take a look on how we are living between people who were breast-fed by hatred to other people & those who are not willing to listen to others.

    With people like these & their mentality, I am not going to be suprised when a day comes and you see such killings and bombings in our streets.

    Why not blocked? Is it because the pictures of our wise leadership is on top of it? Is it because the site is run by Sunni extremists & is attacking Shi’ia, Christians, Jews & any other religion or political view that is not Sunni nor supporting the governement views? As if they are saying: “With our blessings, here is this discriminating forum”.

    Is discriminating one another called freedom of speech, while criticizing the goverment is not??

    hope the MOI people read this & reply to such sites.

    And Mahmood.. Did you really give the Crown Prince one of the Just Bahraini buttons??

  • Yousif
    27 October 2006

    Sshhhhhhh! Mahmood, you realize that it’s not difficult to block access to Tor (by far the best free speech tool available to oppressed 3rd world country citizens).

  • mahmood
    27 October 2006

    Costa-guy: yes I did, and there were more than 100 people present but none whipped out their phones to snap the picture for posterity!

    As to blocking whatever site, I am against it. If the content of the site is against the law of the land (incitement, etc) then its moderators should be taken to court if it was their comment, however if it is a comment which was entered, then it is up to the courts to instruct the moderators to remove those comments, or indeed if the comment is against site’s policy.

    What I’m trying to say is that if your only tool for changing minds is a construction of a wall, or a block, then you’ve already lost the argument.

  • Costa-guy
    27 October 2006

    I agree with you Mahmood. You can’t change people’s mentality nor erase hatred or racial discrimination (I’ve just seen The Departed movie, lot’s of violence & racial language but nice movie :))

    I am just wondering.. Why does the ministry (gov’t) block some sites while others are playing around freely?

    What is the content that the (law of the land) forbid in our case?

    Do you have the right to attack my belief or attack me racially but I can’t criticize your ruling or anything related to politics?

    I dont mind someone coming down swearing on me or discriminating me because of my race or belief if i’ll have my right in replying fair-and-square and attacking the false system that those people are hiding behind.

    I can’t live with a restricited freedom, it’s like you’re talking about a pigeon flying with one wing.

    To the Gov’t: Give me my freedom, or shove this whole (theatrical play) up your face.

  • Hassan Ali
    27 October 2006

    This article can be found at

    ‘Smears victim’ sues for BD10m

    AN activist who filed a BD10.1 million case on Monday claims he is the victim of a smear campaign by political opponents. Mohammed Al Meran launched civil proceedings against 101 people who allegedly signed a petition, which claims he was given land worth BD500,000 in Seef District.

    He denies the allegation, but says that he, his wife and his children have been harassed after it appeared online in English and in Arabic.

    However, some of those named in the lawsuit claim they do not even remember adding their signature to documents that referred to Mr Al Meran, or the Bahrain First Society that he had been trying to establish.

    It is understood the document was signed by several prominent activists during a meeting held at National Democratic Action Society’s (Wa’ad), Umm Al Hassam.

    It was later distributed by activists from several societies and collected into one petition.

    Mr Al Meran said he thinks he was targeted because he spoke up at majlises and other events where politics was discussed.

    “I’ve always said that I am against violence and the use of sectarianism as a way of hurting the country’s stability, economy and development,” he said.

    “I am advocating unity and solving problems through peaceful means and proper channels.”

    Mr Al Meran now says he is planning to file a second case over accusations that he had received undeclared money to support political activities.

    “This allegation of my receiving land was not detailed anywhere else except on this petition,” he said.

    “I am prepared to fight this in court and I dare anyone to find any proof that I have this property in my name.

    “I am also happy to open up my bank account for inspection.”

    Mr Al Meran said that people had been mentioning his allegation to his wife, causing her discomfort.

    “My son Faisal also came to me and asked me if it was true that I was given half-a-million dinars,” he said.

    The petition, which contains several allegations, is addressed to His Majesty King Hamad and asks him to intervene.

    Mr Al Meran is seeking BD100,000 in damages from each of the 101 signatories.

    Bahrain Human Rights Society assistant secretary general Dr Abdulla Al Derazi, who is among those being sued, said that he had no recollection of signing such a document.

    “I read things that I sign very carefully and I can’t remember signing anything that mentioned him,” he said.

    Al Wefaq National Islamic Society board member Jalal Fairooz also said that he didn’t remember signing it.

    Meanwhile, Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (dissolved) vice-president Nabeel Rajab said that he welcomed the court case as a chance to discuss political developments.

    “We will leave this to the court to decide and we will be happy to be a part of it,” he said.

    Meanwhile, MP Dr Abdulhadi Marhoon said he and others who signed the petition were not targeting Mr Al Meran.

    “I think that it is a good thing that this is going to court, because it will allow us to learn more about what is happening,” he said.

    “We didn’t sign it to hurt anyone’s reputation, but only to learn more about what is happening.”

    Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights president Mohammed Al Maskati said his understanding was that the petition had no new information and was only restating information that had already been made public through other sources.

    :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes:

  • honesty
    27 October 2006

    Mahmood I tried to use the … software but i was not able to configure is as a server.. can you guide me pls

  • anonymous
    27 October 2006

    اتفق معاك اخوي محمود ان حجب المواقع مب الحل لان مثل ما قلت تحجبهم الحكومة من صوب Ùˆ من الصوب الثاني تقدر تفتح هالمواقع بسهولة … بس الحكومة في بعض الاحيان ما تنلام اذا صكت مواقع مثل بحرين تايمز دوت اورج اللي وصلت فيه المواصيل انهم يتطنزون Ùˆ ينتقدون بشكل مخل بالاداب بعض الشخصيات المعروفة Ùˆ بالذات الشخصيات النسائية …. Ùˆ لحد يقول هاذي حرية شخصية لان احنا بالنهاية عايشين في مجتمع مسلم محافظ Ùˆ ماعتقد ان احد راح يرضى ان يتم التطرق الى اخته او زوجته او حتى امه بهالطريقة هاذي …. انتقدوا بس مب بهالطريقة Ùˆ الحرية الشخصية ما تيي على حساب احترامنا للغير …. انتقدو بس لا تجرحون Ùˆ يعطيك العافية على هالبوست 🙂

  • Chimi^
    27 October 2006

    If you really want to see a site that should be blocked take a look at this..

    Just took a look, that forum seems to be a breeding ground for the ‘holier then thou’ type of people and preachers – not to mention hate-inciters.

    I’ve took a stroll in a few topics and quite frankly – I’m disgusted.

    That section of the forum claims to be “open conversation (free conversation if you will)”.

    A thread that was discussing the poor treatment of immigrant workers was shutdown – in a typical, civil forum you’d think it turned into a flame/hatefest but i’ve read every single post and the discussion was civil.

    There were no insults or bigotry of any kind!

    There was no written reason for why the thread has been locked either!

  • Costa-guy
    27 October 2006

    الاستهزاء بالآخرين ليست حرية شخصية ولن يهمني رأي من يعارضني في هذه النقطة. =P

    الإستهزاء بالآخرين هي طريقة رخيصة وفاشلة للتعبير عن التحدي يتخذها طرف ضد طرف الآخر عند معرفته بعدم القدرة على مقارعة خصمه بالطرق الصحيحة الشرعية أو الأساليب المحترمة قاصدا بها تحطيم الخصم معنويا وتحويل الرأي العام ضد خصمه. وإن دل هذا الإسلوب على شيء فإنه يدل على مدى ركاكة وضعف شخصية هؤلاء الأشخاص.

    عموما النقظة التي أحببت طرحها في بداية موضوع الأخ محمود هي إذا أرادت وزارة الإعلام إتخاذ سياسة الغلق والحجب فلتطبق الموضوع على الجميع أو تخرج وتصرح بالقوانين والخطوط الحمراء لحرية التعبير حتى يتفادى الجميع هذه المسائل ولتنكشف الحقائق أمام العالم أجمع وخصوصا من ينادي بأن البحرين ترعى حقوق الإنسان والحرية Ùˆ..Ùˆ…Ùˆ… لا أن يتم قفل مواقع بينما تبقى الأخرى الموالية للحكومة أو المحرضة على الفتن الدخلية مفتوحة.

    يقولون البحرين تضمن حرية التعبير؟؟ بعدين يصكون الموقع لأن الموقع ينتقد الحكومة ويخلون موقع مفتوح لأنه يدعم السعيدي ويحرض على إحتقار أي منطق يخالف أمثال السعيدي..

  • unJane
    27 October 2006

    Welcome to my world! I remember when I couldn’t even view the photo you posted of the hibiscus from your garden because flickr was blocked here in the UAE. FYI – I can get into all of the sites you mentioned except Ahrar al Bahrain although I can’t follow the link titled from Bahrain Times. I can, however, see lots of caricatures of my own fearless leader -yea!

  • Fatman
    27 October 2006

    >>If you really want to see a site that should be blocked take a look at this..

    According to the Bandar Report, that forum is personally financed by Atiyetellah’s IT wing, which is headed by Mohammed Al-Qaed. I believe the names of its shady admins are also listed there. It was created to try and take away some of the immense power enjoyed by the opposition forums.

    I guess this website doesn’t pose a threat to the stability of the country; only those other ones do.

  • mahmood
    27 October 2006

    honesty, sorry I’ve never configured it as a server, just a client and it’s just a one-click installation. If you use FireFox you can even download a plugin (search for it on which allows you to switch it on/off in the browser, makes life a lot easier. I have just downloaded FireFox 2 (which I like very much as it is much faster than previous versions on the mac) and after this I’ll download the plugin and try it out.

    Costa I agree with you again, the government’s stance in this instance is hypocritical to say the least, and this particular situation confirms without a shadow of a doubt their culpability just as bandargate suggested (confirmed).

    anon maybe if they allowed shows and criticisms like this, sites like these won’t have a reason to exist. Of course, if you consider the fact that there is no smoke without a fire, then if they put the fires out, they won’t have to worry about smoke! I’m not condoning their cartoons of course, but to me they too fall under the freedom of expression, regardless of our conservative society and regardless of our religion.

    As to bahrainforums, they can kiss my ass. I don’t give a tinker’s cus about them or their views.. but I won’t stand in line to demand their closure. They’re free to preach to their choir and it’s really not my problem. I think whoever goes to those kind of sites and actually get involved in hate mongering deserves the company shown in those sites.

    Now if they turn violent, sow sedition and declare jihad against a person or a group, then the authorities must come in to restore sanity via the courts.

  • Haitham
    27 October 2006

    Hello Mahmood, et al,

    I just checked the websites and I found that out of these ten, only five are blocked. Here is what I can see:

    1. Bahrain Online [Blocked]
    2. Montadayat al Bahrain [Blocked]
    3. Bahrain National Committee for Martyrs and Victims of Torture [Blocked]
    4. Sarah al Watani [Not Blocked]
    5. Ahrar al Bahrain [not Blocked, but seems to be very slow. Takes ages to upload]
    6. Bahrain Times [Blocked]
    7. Al Saheefa [Not blocked]
    8. [Not blocked. Looks to be out of business and now the site is selling Jacuzzi Tub and Bathroom Sinks]
    9. Rezgar [Not Blocked]
    10. The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights [Blocked]

    I’m not sure how it looks thorugh Batelco lines, as this was checked through my MTC Vodafone HSPDA connection.

  • mahmood
    27 October 2006

    I checked all of these through Batelco’s ADSL and they were all blocked.. so the question is, what is MTC’s blocking policy? Can you shed some light on this?

  • Nabeel Rajab
    27 October 2006

    BCHR website blocked by Bahrain government ahead of elections
    26 Oct 2006 – 23:29
    Bahrain Center for Human Rights

    Ref: 06102600

    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights has learned today that its website ( [1]) has been blocked by Batelco, Bahrain’s main internet service provider (ISP). The BCHR is especially concerned that the latest moves may be part of an attempt to stifle criticism of the government ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections, due to be held in less than a month’s time. The Center demands that the website be unblocked and renews its calls for the government to end its long-standing practice of censoring the Internet for political reasons.

    The BCHR is has reason to believe that the move is an attempt by the government to prevent discussion or awareness of the recent Bandargate scandal [1], in which several government officials have been accused of fomenting sectarianism and planning to unfairly influence the upcoming parliamentary elections. Following the revelations of the scandal, the higher criminal court issued a press gag on all information, news or comments surrounding the issue (see BCHR Ref: 06100500 [1]) and the government has refused to make any comment on the allegations (see BCHR Ref: 06101300 [1]). In the following week, a number of activists and journalists who had been highlighting the Bandargate scandal received anonymous phone threats to cease cease their activities (see BCHR Ref: 06101201 [1]). Despite the press gag and the threats, the BCHR continued to highlight the issue, so this may be one of the reasons for the government’s decision to block the website.

    Asides from the BCHR’s site, it should be noted that at least eight other Bahraini news and discussion websites are already blocked by Batelco (for the full list, see here [1]). This latest move comes less than three months after the government attempted to block the Google Earth and Google Video services (for details, see BCHR Ref: 08080600 [1] and BCHR Ref: 12080600 [1]). Also, in February 2005, three moderators of Bahrain Online ( [2]), a popular online discussion forum, were detained because of messages posted on the site that were critical of the government.

    The BCHR recalls that Article 23 of the Constitution of Bahrain and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantee the right to receive and impart electronic information without hindrance. These obligations should be all the more apparent to the government, as Bahrain currently sits on the United Nations Human Rights Council. We therefore call upon the government to:

    Immediately unblock the BCHR website, as well as all other blocked sites, and permanently end its practice of censoring the Internet.
    Lift the press gag on the Bandargate scandal, and guarantee the freedom of speech on all issues ahead of the upcoming elections.
    Launch a transparent investigation into the allegations of the Bandargate scandal, and punish all officials who are found to be guilty. (For detailed recommendations see BCHR Ref: 06101300 [2])


    Source URL:

  • Anonymous
    27 October 2006

    They think we are all mentally handicapped and we can’t really think for ourselves and choose what is right from wrong. We need the MoI to block things for us and “show us the right way(TM)”. You know how they are “all knowing” and stuff and we are just sheep.

  • Hassan Ali
    28 October 2006

    Bahrain Center for Human Rights(BCHR)
    could Joint Bahrain Human Rights Society(BHRS)
    the non-governmental organization for Human Rights working in accordance with the Kingdom of Bahrain & International laws and have the office & international relations and their web site address is
    or Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) does not want to work according to the laws .

    :no: :no: :no: :no: :no: :no: :no: :no:

  • bystander
    28 October 2006 is not blocked on batelco and redirection was set up to a raw ip address 😉

    as for Nabeel Rajab, hello there! [thank you for alerting RSF 🙂 ]
    you could try this:

  • richy
    28 October 2006

    I read somewhere that Skype would be made not available soon, any update on that?

  • Mulan
    29 October 2006

    I am using a Batelco connection and I can acces Al-Sarah Al-Watani normally.

  • mahmood
    29 October 2006

    Thanks for the update Mulan, I stuck that one off the list.

    I also notice that IS accessible (though very slow) if you put www in front, however a 403 result if you go “plain”.

    I’ll check it again this afternoon and update if necessary.

  • Mulan
    29 October 2006

    You are right, it does work! Fancy that!

  • Salman Al-Rahma
    29 October 2006

    Mahmood says:

    But then one must ask the question… who’s next?

    From what I heard, it is Mahmood’s Den
    Prepare yourself and do a full backup..
    Good luck.

  • mahmood
    29 October 2006


  • Aftaab
    31 December 2006

    There’s always the shadowsurf anonymous proxy, the secret source anonymous proxy and the other free anonymous proxies for bypassing blocks. I learnt this trick at work, since we couldn’t install any software on the computers yet we needed to access blocked sites (for research, honest!) Taking formal permission to unblock sites took upto two hours, since ours was a large organisation.