Tag: Middle East

Bahraini Blogger Sentenced to Jail Over “Insulting Religion” on Twitter

Faisal Hayyat, a prominent blogger and sports journalist, was sentenced on November 29 by a Bahraini court to 3 months imprisonment for ‘insulting a sect and a religious figure’ on Twitter. Hayyat was arrested on October 9, a few days after posting tweets critical to the Bahraini government. On his tweets Hayyat commented on events from early Islamic history. The conviction was based on article 209 of the…

Two Saudi Women Sentenced to 20 Lashes for Using Bad Language Over WhatsApp

Two women were sentenced by Saudi court in Jeddah to 10 days in prison and 20 lashes each, over using bad language while arguing with each other on WhatsApp. The messages were ruled to contain ‘impermissible expressions’. The women were warned by court that they would face worse punishment if they repeat their use of bad language. The case was brought to court two…

Saudi Arabia: Teen Blogger ‘Abu Sin’ Arrested for Online Flirting

Like many teens, the 19-year-old Saudi blogger ‘Abu Sin’ (‘the toothless one’) enjoys spending his time online connecting to people throughout the world. Earlier this year, the young teen whose real name had not been revealed by authorities, connected with American teen blogger Christina Crockett. Despite the language barrier, the two had numerous exchanges, including one video where Abu Sin declared his…

Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab Facing Trial Over Tweets; Hearing Postponed to September 5, 2016

Nabeel Rajab, a 51-year-old prominent Bahraini opposition leader and the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, is facing trial over criticising Saudi involvement in Yemen on Twitter. Rajab was charged with “insulting a statutory body” and “spreading rumours during wartime”. If convicted, he is facing up to 15 years in prison under Bahrain’s penal code. Rajab was first arrested over the tweets in April 2015 and released a few months later…

Egypt: Satirical Group “Street Children” Arrested Over YouTube Videos

Six members of the online Egyptian satirical group Atfal al-Shawarea (or “Street Children”) were arrested over the course of early May after uploading numerous satirical videos to YouTube and Facebook, mocking the current Egyptian regime. Charges range from “religious contempt” to ‘incitement to participate in demonstrations and gatherings”, with additional accusations of using the Internet to promote terrorist ideas. The members…