Bahrain: Urgent Trial for Spreading Rumours on COVID-19

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The Public Prosecution ordered a week in detention in preparation for an urgent trial for a staff who released rumours about a soon-to-happen curfew. This was announced by the Public Prosecution through Head of the Muharraq Governorate Prosecution, Abdullah Al-Dhawadi.

He added that the concerned authorities immediately started the investigation after receiving a detailed report, and interrogated the accused, who confessed what was alleged to him.

The arrested, who claimed to be a staff in one of the companies of the Bahrain International Airport (BIA), said in a viral voice note that a curfew will be officially applied soon and urged all to store food. In the voice note, he added that Muharraq island, in which the airport is located, would be isolated as an official procedure. He noted that the company he worked with rented a residential building to accommodate staff who stay outside Muharraq. He concluded with pieces of advice of buying food as much as possible and not to share the voice note as it was exclusive for his group of friends.

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Al-Dhawadi said that the voice note included false news and promoted rumors related to the Kingdom’s actions to limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) which would affect civil peace and harm public security.

He stressed that the Public Prosecution would firmly address, within the framework of the law, anyone who publishes or contributes to the circulation of such false news and malicious rumours that would cause confusion and intimidate the community, especially in these current circumstances. He called for the solidarity of all and the support of the state agencies and institutions in the strenuous efforts they exert in the face of that disease. He also urged all to obtain information on what is issued by the competent official authorities in the Kingdom.

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It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Interior has earlier announced that all legal procedures will be taken against everyone who commits such acts. It urged all that information should be drawn from its official sources and not paying attention to the circulating rumours.

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