A court in Bahrain has sentenced six tweeters to one year in jail on charges of insulting Bahrain’s monarch, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
The Bahraini public prosecutor's office said in a Wednesday statement that the six had been charged and convicted by a lower criminal court for “misusing the right of free expression.”
The statement added that the tweeters were accused of posting remarks “undermining the values and traditions of Bahrain's society towards the king on Twitter.”
The Bahraini uprising began in mid-February 2011, when the people, inspired by the popular revolutions that toppled the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, started holding massive demonstrations.
The Bahraini government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states.
Activists in Bahrain employ the microblogging website, Twitter, in a move to report what they describe as regime “violations” against them.
Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses accused of treating injured revolutionaries.
A report published by Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 found that the Al Khalifa regime had used excessive force in the crackdown and accused Manama of torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters.
Bahrainis say they will continue holding demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met.