Manama: Bahrain’s interior ministry has warned citizens against taking part in the ‘Tamarod’ (rebel) protest scheduled for August 14.
“The Interior Ministry warns people not to respond or react to incitement from political events and social media posts that use ‘Rebellion August 14’ and encourage the overthrow of the government,” the ministry said in a statement. “Rallies and activities that affect security, public order, civil peace and the interests of the people are against the law. Participants will have legal procedures taken against them,” the statement said.
The Tamarod movement was launched in emulation of the popular drive in Egypt that helped topple the president. The interior ministry said that it issued the warning on Saturday “based on its responsibility to protect the security and stability of the nation”.
“Incitement to violence is a crime under Article 156 of the Penal Code, which stipulates jail terms for those who incite others to violence,” the statement. “Under the anti-terrorism law, the penalty for inciting violence is up to five years in jail even if the inciter did not commit any violence himself.”
In its statement, the ministry “stresses that there are some who insist on exploiting the freedom and democracy of the Kingdom and use irresponsible speech at a time when the country is working to move forward through the National Dialogue.”
A national dialogue was launched on February 10 to help break a political deadlock that has gripped Bahrain since February 2011 in the wake of public unrest.
The talks that brought together two political alliances, including the opposition, independent parliamentarians and government ministers, are facing formidable challenges to agree on a platform and on an agenda. However, all sides have agreed on their importance and ruled pulling out.
The interior ministry said that the commitment to peaceful solutions and talks should be extended to all issues in the country.
“The ministry highlights the significance of wisdom and the sense of national responsibility to maintain the security and stability of the nation and protect its national interests,” it said in its statement. The ministry added that it was adopting a zero-tolerance towards any “threats to security”. “Security forces have taken all precautionary measures to protect public security as well as public and private property throughout Bahrain,” the statement said. “Any sign of disturbance will be dealt with in accordance with the law. The safety of the country and protection of lives are the top priorities of the ministry.
“The National Action Charter and the constitution protect freedoms and human rights and highlight the importance of moving forward with the state of law and institutions. However, the option to resort to violence is totally rejected as it is against religious values, the country’s laws and national standards and the deep-rooted traditions of the tolerant Bahraini society.”