Former Bahraini MP Mohammed Khalid Ibrahim has been detained after the public prosecutor’s office in Manama accused him of ‘broadcasting false news and misusing social media’.
The charges stem from posts on Ibrahim’s Twitter account that criticized the authorities’ ability to provide adequate security.
The public prosecutor decided that the posts ‘could cause harm to public order’.
Although Manama has jailed a number of lawmakers from the Shiite-led opposition over the years, Ibrahim’s arrest has raised eyebrows since he is not regarded as an opponent to Bahrain’s ruling Al-Khalifa clan.
Ibrahim is a Sunni politician and a member of the Al-Menbar Islamic Society.
His criticism of the government has generally focused on social and religious issues like the airing of Western-inspired reality TV shows and music concerts.
Ibrahim’s arrest comes just days after a pro-government journalist found himself behind bars for criticizing the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
Ibrahim Al Shaikh, a writer with Akhbar Al khaleej, was accused of ‘spreading false news and rumors in time of war’ over an article in which he blasted the media’s ‘misinformation campaign’ surrounding the war in Yemen.
Meanwhile on Monday, the Bahraini Cabinet ordered a clampdown on social media users that are deemed to be a threat to “civil and social peace”.