MANAMA: Fabricated news which threatens national security, public order, public health and incites violence could soon be deemed a criminal offence. The Cabinet, chaired by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, yesterday approved amendments to articles of the penal law regulating the right to exercise freedom of expression.
Publication of written items, papers, fabricated photos or falsely attributing forged pictures to others to subvert civic peace, damage public interest and erode confidence in Bahrain's financial standing would also be deemed criminal offence.
Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa yesterday submitted a memorandum in this regard.
Legal and constitutional measures will be taken before referring the draft law to the legislature.
In another Cabinet development, Gulf Air is to be boosted to be able to continue its pivotal role as a national carrier.
The Cabinet decided to back the firm in a bid to protect its reputation and status in civil aviation.
It discussed the current situation of Gulf Air and potential alternatives for the carrier to continue its crucial role as a pillar of the national economy.
It instructed Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company to submit recommendations detailing future strategic options for Gulf Air.
Deputy Premier and Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company chairman Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa gave a presentation on the situation.
The Cabinet paid tributes to Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Defence and Aviation Minister and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, extending condolences to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi government and people.
It praised Prince Sultan's statesmanship, national, regional and international stature.
It acknowledged his pivotal role in spearheading his country's renaissance, the march of the GCC and promoting Arab and Islamic causes.
"Prince Sultan will always be remembered for his memorable national, Arab, Islamic and human achievements," it said.