mum’s the word

This sounds SO familiar!

وقال العضو البلدي ربيع في رده على الاتهام الموجه له: أنا قلت ما قلت من باب ممارسة دوري الرقابي الذي يكفله الدستور لي كمواطن وكعضو بلدي، وقد ناشدت جلالة الملك بالتدخل لإصلاح أوضاع الوزارة إصلاحاً كلياً.

وأكد «أنا لم أهن أية سلطة، وإنما كنت أمارس دوري الرقابي، وهدفي كان الصالح العام وليس توجيه الإهانة لأي أحد».

يشار إلى أن المادة (216) من قانون العقوبات تنص على أنه «يعاقب بالحبس أو الغرامة من أهان بإحدى طرق العلانية المجلس الوطني أو غيره من الهيئات النظامية أو الجيش أو المحاكم أو السلطات أو المصالح العامة».
الوسط – ١٩/Ù¤/٢٠٠٧

The councillor stated that: “I did not insult any authority, what I did was exercise my oversight responsibility and my intention was to the general good of the country rather than purposefully insulting anyone“.

In an email interview, the Jerusalem Post reporter asked me whether the troubles I am facing are symptomatic of attempts by the government of Bahrain to silence criticism. I answered no, of course not, I don’t believe in conspiracies.

I would like to change my answer now to the affirmative.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any shadow of a doubt any more. Any criticism is not taken as just that any more, an attempt from concerned citizens to better their lot and to act in a supervisory role and attempt with their criticism to correct or at least highlight the various ills they experience on a daily basis in their own country, but as personal attacks and summary insults that hurt delicate feelings of purer than pure government organs and their officials.

More gardening and photography posts coming up!


  1. F

    I think the government and the people here are going through
    a learning process. They are defining what can be done and
    what cannot be done. What is considered constructive criticism
    and what is considered an insult.

    The issue that you, and many others, are facing today and tomorrow will help in clearing the path to a more transparent relationship between all parties.

  2. Esra'a

    F, I somewhat agree, and this is why I think we have to put up a very strong fight. If we do that, perhaps the government will realize its limits and acknowledge the fact that we need certain freedoms. I am not expecting total freedom of speech because I believe no country has that yet, and I’m also not that idealistic and naive, but I certainly expect us to take advantage of the very basics. We should be able to criticize, constructively, and whoever finds sheer criticism to be insulting or “dangerous” is just arrogant and we shouldn’t defend that. Getting bloggers in a legal mess is something that should be frowned upon, and we need to stick together through this, because while Mahmood is the victim today any of us are likely to follow unless we show them that what we do, in many ways, is harmless and is merely educational. We blog to increase awareness, not to overthrow the government or revolutionize. We’re not insulting or harassing anyone by speaking our minds and expressing our personal opinions in our personal space. Unless they have proof of an actual threat taking place, they need to keep their hands off of our beloved bloggers.

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  4. I

    Can you imagine a ‘Spitting Image’ type skit like ‘The president’s brain is missing’ applied to members of the current government?
    They’d be appoplectic !

    . . . now where can I get hold of some puppets and some foam . . .

  5. Post

    man I’ve got a lot of old fogies here who actually not only what I’m talking about, but are still living it!

    ROCK ON DUDES! :w00t:

  6. F

    Esra’a – I concur that we need to put more energy in supporting freedom of expression. At first, this region will find it hard to accept, but in time they will realise that it will be do more good than harm.

    Spitting Image – great show!! I think I’m going to order the
    entire DvD set.


  7. rocknroll

    me thinks the authorities in the middle esast would like their subjects to spend their time gardening and in other assorted activities.

    Where are those photographs mahmood … oh by the way buddy best of luck with the case.

  8. Sandrine Phellps

    why are u giving interviews to the Jerusalem Post? :shocked:

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  11. Susanne

    >>>> why are u giving interviews to the Jerusalem Post?

    >> Why not?

    Thanks for this, Mahmood! :angel:

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