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The Guardian: Press Freedom not Recognized in Bahrain, Al-Wadaei Sees Bahrain Real Journalism Impossible

2016-07-25 - 8:07 p

Bahrain Mirror: The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) director of advocacy, Sayed Ahmed Al-Wadaei, stressed in a statement reported by The Guardian, "Bahrain is making real journalism impossible."

Al-Wadaei's remarks came in the context of the Bahraini authorities' recent prosecution measures taken against Nazeeha Saeed, the France24 correspondent who was detained and tortured back in 2011. Saeed was prosecuted for alleged "illegal reporting" on behalf of foreign media, after she was summoned to the Public Prosecutor's office on July 17, 2016.

The Guardian indicated on this level that what is happening appears to be a "renewed crackdown on free expression." It seems that several journalists, according to "Bird", have been facing increased pressure on their work and conduct throughout the past year.

The Guardian report further highlighted that Nazeeha Saeed was refused a license earlier this year when hers expired, and that she faces a fine of up to 1,000 Bahraini dinars (£2,000).

The UK-based newspaper quoted Bird's Director, Sayed Al-Wadaei who said, "Nazeeha Saeed is a leading reporter, and that is why they are trying to silence her. Bahrain's international allies, the UK and US, must condemn this regressive assault on the fourth estate." Saeed was not only rejected a license to work, but according to her Tweet on June 29, she was banned from leaving the country.

In recognition of her years of fighting oppression through practicing right to freedom of press, despite being tortured for it by the Bahraini authorities, Reporters Without Borders, renamed the street where the Bahraini embassy is located in Paris, as Rue Nazeeha Saeed.

The Guardian reiterated how freedom of press is not recognized in the monarchy, which does not recognize freelancers as journalists, and thus deprive them from their right to practice. Until December 2015, there were five freelance journalists imprisoned in Bahrain, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Tags: Freedom of Press, Nazeeha Saeed, The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, The Guardian, Ahmad Alwadaei

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