[JURIST] A court in Bahrain [BBC country profile] sentenced six individuals to a year in prison on Wednesday for insulting King Hamad via Twitter [official website]. Since the nation’s pro-democracy protests in Manama that began in February 2011, activists have used the social media site to report perceived violations. The court found [BNA report] the tweets to be an overuse of the freedom of expression, and a contradiction to the fundamental norms of society.
Bahrain has imprisoned numerous activists in the wake of the 2011 protests and banned all protests [JURIST report] effective October 2012. In March 13 pro-democracy activists were sentenced [JURIST report] to 10 years in jail. Also in March the Bahrain Higher Criminal Court acquitted two police officers [JURIST report] in the shooting death of a Shiite protester during the nation’s uprising. In February a Bahrain police officer was sentenced to seven years [JURIST report] in prison for fatally shooting a protester. In January a court in Bahrain released [JURIST report] human rights activist Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda on bail pending trial for charges of spreading false news to harm security. Also in January the highest Bahraini appellate court upheld the convictions [JURIST report] of 13 prominent pro-democracy protestors convicted by military tribunal in 2011 on charges of plotting to overthrow the monarchy.