Bahraini activist arrested over photos of police violence

Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafdhah was arrested for spreading "false information" after he tweeted photos of police using Molotov cocktails and shotguns against protesters.

Mar 2, 2020, 11:34 pm*


Kevin Collier 

Kevin Collier

A leading Bahraini activist has been arrested for live-tweeting a violent protest, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) said Wednesday.

Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafdhah, who works as that organization’s Head of Documentation, covered violent anti-government protests in Bahrain’s capital city of Manama on Monday. On Tuesday, he was charged with “disseminating false news over Twitter,” according to the BCHR, and is being detained until  Dec. 25 for investigation.

That “false news” is still visible on Muhafdhah’s Twitter page, @SAIDYOUSIF. It includes photos of police violence: One photo shows police appearing to throw Molotov cocktails; another shows a protester’s bloody, pellet-speckled leg after being shot with a shotgun.

In the minutes before other members of the BCHR took over his account, Muhafdhah’s tweeted “I can see security forces spraying pepper spray on female protesters faces as they mock them / laugh,” then, simply, “arrested.”

Remarkably, twitterer @M_Alshaikh obtained a clear photo of Muhafdhah’s arrest, which the BCHR tweeted under the @SAIDYOUSIF account.

This is at least the second time in two months that Muhafdhah has been arrested for activism. He was also detained Nov. 3, though later released without being charged. According to the BCHR, it was in retaliation for testifying against the Bahrainian government at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Photo of Muhafdhah’s arrest via @M_Alshaikh/Twitter

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*First Published: Dec 20, 2012, 2:02 pm