Human Rights Watch has censured the Bahraini regime for threatening to crack down on activists and dissidents that criticize the despotic regime online.
The US-based rights body was referring to a statement by Bahraini Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, who said on March 25 that Manam was already tracking accounts that “departed from national norms, customs and traditions,” and threatened unspecified new legislation and heavy punishments against “violators.”
“No one can mistake the government’s latest assault on the shrinking space for dissent,” said Deputy Middle East Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Eric Goldstein in a Saturday statement.
“A vow to punish those who ‘depart from national norms and customs’ is clearly aimed at anyone who criticizes the government’s policies,” the HRW official added.
This is while the HRW has already documented how Bahraini authorities actively track and punish online dissent, blocking numerous websites and publications, and detaining and harassing bloggers, journalists, and other activists.