On Monday, Bahraini officials arrested a man for allegedly insulting soldiers who are currently fighting in Yemen. Less than a day later, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa announced his son will join the Saudi-led coalition.
The authorities arrested the man seven days ago. From AFP:
The man was detained for seven days and is accused of “deliberately spreading rumours in a time of war… to harm the military operations of our armed forces”, the prosecutor’s office said.
It did not reveal the identity of the man, who faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted, nor what he is accused of posting online.
A missile strike killed five Bahrani soldiers, 45 Emiratis, and 10 Saudi troops on Friday. The United Arab Emirates arrested a man who reportedly wrote “an ‘incorrect list of young Emiratis he claimed were among the 45 victims.”
Iran-backed Houthi rebels staged a coup earlier this year against the Yemeni government, which led Saudi Arabia to form a coalition to intervene. Bahrain quickly joined the Saudis in the fight. On Monday, the U.S. State Department confirmed Houthis had kidnapped numerous Americans in Yemen.
King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa proudly declared his sons will join the fight in Yemen early Tuesday morning.
“My sons will be joining their brothers in the Arab coalition forces in Yemen as part of their national military duties,” he said.
The Minister of Information explained, “This is the first time such a decision is being taken” and the sons “are performing their national duties away from the spotlight in a bid to show their sincerity” with those already in Yemen.
Tawfeeq Al Salehi, the director of Media Relations for Sheikh Nasser, the fourth son of the king, spoke with Al Arabiya News about the report.
“As far as official announcements go, there aren’t any neither from our office nor from His Majesty the King’s,” he said. “The news broke after someone tweeted about the King Hamad’s meeting with officials at the Bahrain Defense Forces, but we cannot confirm nor deny at the moment.”
In March, human rights activists demanded UK police arrest Prince Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa after he posted a video of him in Hyde Park. A Bahraini only known as FF “alleged Prince Nasser was involved in the torture of detained prisoners during 2011 Arab Spring protests.” FF, who received asylum in the UK, claimed “he was badly beaten” after he participated in protests in February 2011. Scotland Yard received the case in October 2014 “after the high court in London quashed a decision by the director of public prosecutions (DPP) that Prince Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa was immune from legal action owing to his royal status.”