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Prominent Bahraini Blog, Blocked!

It's official, Mahmood's Blog (http://mahmood.tv) will be blocked effective immediately, by the orders of the Bahraini Ministry of Information.

Together with 6 other web sites (listed below), the official memo was delivered to all the ISP's in Bahrain this afternoon.

Mahmood Al-Yousif, is a prominent Bahraini/Arab blogger. His blog is the most famous one in Bahrain. His blog tagline read: “intelligent… informative… and fun!” and it is. he was until a while one of the Global Voices Authors. His intelligent post added a lot to on the coverage of the Bahraini Blogsphere.

Immediately after Mahmood made the announcement, he received endless support calls from friends all around the world. He was interviewed in at least three Bahraini daily newspapers and his news will be published tomorrow in Al-Wasat, GDN and Bahrain Tribune. Several letters went out to some NGO's to support unblocking Mahmood's Blog.

Few hours after Mahmood published the official memo, his blog is going up and down due to unexpected bandwidth load from visitors and supporters.

Following is a list of the web sites ordered to be blocked in today's official memo:

http://www.annaqed.com
http://freecopts.net
http://arabchurch.com
http://www.ladeeni.net
http://www.albawaba.com
http://kurdtimes.com
http://mahmood.tv

Among the above list, only Mahmood's blog is a Bahraini. Other web sites vary between news, religious and entertainment web sites.

Usually, no explanation is given to the web sites owners about the reason their web sites are blocked. However, looking at the official memo, it refers the press law no. 47, passed in 2002, which then added further restrictions on freedom of expression including the prohibition of “defamation of the person of the king and royal family members.” On 24 April, 2005, the Information Ministry issued a decree instructing web site and blog moderators of any site that included information on Bahrain to register with the Ministry and to assume responsibility for all materials published online.

In the past, authorities have blocked access to a number of political sites, including those of opposition groups, because the officials claim that these sites incite “sectarianism” and contain “offensive content.” The criteria for making such determinations, though, are not clear. In some cases, the Ministry of Information claimed it blocked only sites that seek to “create tension between people and to provoke resentful sectarianism.”

4 comments

  • […] IGF:n alla Bahrainissa on estetty vaikutusvaltainen Mahmood’s Blog. Teko on her

  • […] Today, Mahmood is speaking with an image worth a thousand words – his smiling face, familiar to all readers of his blog, muzzled with a red gag. His blog, along with five other websites, have been ordered blocked by the Bahrani Ministry of Information. Mahmoud’s site is the only one of the blocked sites that is written in Bahrain by a Bahrani. Haitham Sabbah, writing on Global Voices, reports: Among the above list, only Mahmood’s blog is a Bahraini. Other web sites vary between news, religious and entertainment web sites. […]

  • […] Personally I think this is just the starting tip of the ice berg when Governments will slowly exercise force to clamp and shut down irritating journalist landing them with one excuse or another. A number of poeple have joined hands to condemn this censorship and I plead you to sign this petition to protest this ban […]

  • […] Global Voices Online � Blog Archive � Prominent Bahraini Blog, Blocked! Mahmoud.tv is blocked, along with a few other Bahraini blogs. (tags: bahrain globalvoices censorship freespeech) […]

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