Manama: Bahrain’s security authorities announced the arrests of five people for misusing Twitter to defame individuals and incite sedition.

The Director General of Anti-corruption and Economic and Electronic Security said the investigations revealed the suspects were “involved in setting up tendentious accounts on which they posted abusive tweets, while others provided them with information and helped them to post them”.

The suspects named in the official’s statement are three public employees, one employee in the private sector, and an unemployed person.

“The arrests are in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in the Kingdom, and in line with the directives of the Minister of the Interior to take strict measures to address the electronic anarchy and chaos caused by some social media accounts non-compliant with the law,” he said late on Friday.

“The suspects have been referred to the Public Prosecution and the investigations are still underway to arrest the other suspects involved in such cases.”

The director general warned they would “publish the names and photographs of all those involved in such crimes that put the kingdom’s civic peace and social fabric at risk”.

In a separate statement, Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Representative of King Hamad for Charity Work and Youth Affairs and Commander of the Royal Guard, warned of zero-tolerance towards any attempt to tamper with the pillars of state, defame the king, prime minister or crown prince or spread falsehoods and rumours.

A decisive stand is required to deal with malicious bids on social media to disseminate false allegations and sow sedition in Bahrain and the competent authorities need to deal firmly with all attempts to jeopardise civil peace and sow discord, he added.