The General Directorate of Anti-corruption and Economic and Electronic Crimes yesterday clarified in a statement said that the “false and malicious tweets” made by Nabeel Rajab do not fall within the freedom of expression guaranteed by Bahrain’s constitution. The statement was made in response to a call made by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on January 4 regarding the “immediate and unconditional release” of Nabeel Rajab.
Rajab is currently serving a five-year sentence on charges of “releasing false news during wartime and publicly insulting brotherly states and the Ministry of Interior. The directorate pointed out that in March 2015, Rajab posted false news and rumours to his followers harming the operations of the Bahraini armed forces and the forces of brotherly countries during a time of war. “For example, on 26 March, he posted images of bodies claiming they were the consequence of the war in Yemen, while in reality, they were images of incidents in Idlib in Syria that were published on 23 September 2014,” the statement on Bahrain News Agency said.
Rajab, the General Directorate said, posted on 31 March 2015 images of bodies again claiming that they were the consequences of the war in Yemen, while they were images of incidents in Gaza Palestine. He re-tweeted tweets and attached with them images of wounded people, claiming that hundreds of inmates in the Jaw prison had suffered fractures and hundreds were bleeding from their heads because of physical attacks and torture.
Rajab also insulted the Ministry of Interior and the General Directorate of Reformation and Rehabilitation through his tweets. An investigation proved his hand in the tweets which resulted in taking the required legal steps by the Public Prosecutor, the statement said. He was arrested and the electronic devices that he was using to post the tweets on his account were seized.