MEMBERS of a newly formed political society have allegedly received death threats after being labelled “traitors” by anonymous groups online.
Al Fateh Youth Coalition (FYC) claims to be victims of an ongoing smear campaign in which its members are being threatened and accused of plotting against the regime.
The society, a breakaway of the National Unity Assembly (NUA), has filed an official complaint with authorities, demanding an immediate investigation.
It claims one of those behind the cyber attacks is Bahraini run Twitter account @mnarfezhom, which has been accused by other political societies of defamatory remarks and spreading false news.
“We first filed a complaint in 2012 at the cybercrime unit of the Interior Ministry against some Twitter accounts, and lodged another complaint in March last year,” said FYC spokesman Yacoub Al Slaise yesterday.
“Nothing has happened since then and these individuals on Twitter accounts continue to harass or threaten me personally and members of the coalition.
“They have even threatened some of our members by saying they will shoot them.”
The society has also filed a complaint at the Ombudsman against the cybercrime unit for its lack of action since the first complaint was filed in 2012.
Its members met officials of the Interior Ministry watchdog to express their dissatisfaction with the progress of the investigations.
“We were assured by the officials they will follow up the two complaints we filed since 2012 against social media abuse by some groups,” said Mr Al Slaise.
“These groups are now saying all sort of things such as we plan to overthrow the regime and literally go haywire if we criticise the government in any manner.”
The FYC was formed in July last year following the resignation of 14 leading NUA members, who cited differences of opinion and personal reasons for leaving.
Those who quit the 51-member board included Mr Al Slaise, prominent lawyer Abdulla Hashim, businessman Khalid Al Qoud, legal adviser Ali Faisal and government employee Rashid Jassim.
The GDN reported in January last year that the NUA filed a complaint against @mnarfezhom for alleged defamatory remarks against members of its society.
The National Justice Movement (Al Adala) members had also then said the man behind the Twitter account has been instrumental in spreading false news that former MPs, public figures and influential political leaders were backing him.
But the social media abuse went even one step further when a memory card of a camera owned by Mr Al Slaise was allegedly stolen last year from the NUA headquarters in Busaiteen.
It contained personal pictures of Mr Slaise with his family.
“The incident happened when I was working with the NUA and I found out one day that the memory card of my camera was missing,” explained Mr Slaise. “I could not find it anywhere at the NUA premises where I left it last and then I get all these online threats warning to publish some of the private pictures of my family that were stored in the memory card.” Mr Al Slaise yesterday urged authorities to end the ongoing harassment against FYC members.
By SANDEEP SINGH GREWAL , Posted on » Tuesday, January 07, 2014 , Gulf Daily News