Webmasters must register or face legal action
MANAMA: Webmasters face prosecution if they defy new rules announced by Bahraini authorities. All Bahraini websites set up here or abroad must register with the Information Ministry or face legal action, it was declared yesterday.
A six-month campaign is being launched next Monday to register all Bahraini websites, under orders from Information Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar.
"The ministry will announce soon the details of how each website owner or supervisor can register," Information Under-Secretary Mahmood Al Mahmood told the GDN.
"If they fail to register then legal action will be taken against them based on the country's printing and publishing laws."
He said websites would face similar laws to newspapers, related to libel, public decency and ethics. Just as a newspaper editor-in-chief is held responsible for what he publishes, so will the webmasters be, he said.
In a statement to the Bahrain Tribune, Jamal Dawood said: “The campaign is part of our efforts to create a better environment for investors and businesses, and bolster social development. It also aims to promote and protect human rights and the freedom of the Press.”
I might be just a silly Omani, but how does this process protect human rights?
Do you think they send copies of their laws to the respective ministries in other GCC countries, as in "hey, check out the latest thing we came up with to piss off our people.. thought you might like it and want to implement it too"?
For more on the story and the reaction in Bahrain read the following blogs:
Mahmood's take: Freedom of Speech my big toe!
Silly Bahraini Girl: The Bahrain Ministry of Information claims ownership of the WWW
Bahraini by Nature: Free Speech Protected Blog