DUBAI, June 14 Bahraini authorities detained a
citizen for questioning on charges of sympathising with Qatar on
social media, state news agency BNA reported on Wednesday.
It was the first time Bahrain had detained a citizen for
violating a ban on support for Qatar that Bahrain imposed after
it joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt in
severing ties with Doha. Violators face up to five years in jail
and an unspecified fine.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have imposed similar bans. Abu
Dhabi said violations are punishable by up to 15 years in jail
and a fine of at least 500,000 UAE dirham ($136,000), local
BNA quoted the attorney general as saying that the interior
ministry's electronic crimes department had filed a complaint
about a suspect it did not name, accusing him of social media
postings deemed as violating the kingdom's decisions.
"The prosecution launched an investigation in this
complaint, questioned the suspect and ordered him detained
protectively pending questioning," BNA said, quoted the
Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based, survived a
2011 uprising led by majority Shi'ite Muslims demanding reforms
and a bigger share in running the small Sunni-led kingdom.
The island state has recently stepped up a campaign against
dissent, closing down two major political groupings, revoking
the citizenship of the spiritual leader of the Shi'ite community
and putting some rights activist on trial.
($1 = 3.6724 UAE dirham)
(Reporting by Sami Aboudi, editing by Larry King)