Reporters Without Borders Ranks Bahrain 167 on World Press Freedom Index, Says There’s “No Let-Up"
2019-04-19 - 8:28 p
Bahrain Mirror: According to the annual 2019 report of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Bahrain is ranked not free regarding press freedom. It came in 167th place in the list of 180 countries, which means Bahrain fell back one rank, after coming in 166th last year.
The report stressed that the Gulf kingdom is ruled with an iron fist by the Khalifa royal family, noting that it is notorious for jailing many journalists, especially photographers and cameramen.
"Fear that the regime could be overthrown led to an increase in the persecution and censorship of dissidents from 2011 onwards, especially after the uprisings by the Shia opposition in the east of the country," it added.
The RSF report further highlighted that the convicted on such charges as participating in demonstrations, property destruction and supporting terrorism, journalists and citizen-journalists are given long jail terms and sometimes even life sentences.
It went on to say that many have been mistreated in detention and some have even been stripped of their citizenship, adding that since 2016, Bahraini journalists working for international media have had problems renewing their accreditation. "For foreign journalists, getting a press visa to visit Bahrain is very complicated."
In the details of the report, it stated that the number of imprisoned journalists so far reached 9: Photographer Hassan Mohammed Qambar was arrested on June 12, 2018, sport photographer Hassan Ghareeb on May 7, 2017, journalist Mahmood Al-Jazeeri on December 28, 2015, freelance photographer Ahmed Zain El Deen on September 4, 2014, photographer Mustafa Rabea on September 4, 2014, freelance cameraman Hussam Sroor on September 4, 2014, photographer Sayed Ahmed Al-Mousawi on February 10, 2014, Cameraman Jaffar Marhoon on December 26, 2013, and photographer Ahmed Humaidan on December 29, 2012.
As for online activists, the report mentioned that there are still 6 lingering behind bars in Bahrain: social media blogger Najah Ahmed Yousif was arrested on April 25, 2017, Nabeel Rajab from Bahrain Centre for Human Rights on June 13, 2016, Firas Al-Saffar on June 1, 2014, cameraman Abdullah Isa on February 24. 2014, Ali Al-Maaraj from Loulouat Awal on June 5, 2016, and Abduljalil Al-Singace on March 16, 2011.
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