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Bahrain Continues to Silence and Punish Journalists: SALAM

2020-05-04 - 12:19 am

Bahrain Mirror: Salam for Democracy and Human Rights issued a report on World Press Freedom Day, entitled "Bahrain: Silencing Voices First".

The report reviewed the state of press freedom in Bahrain by international organizations that monitor the level of press freedom in countries, which emphasized that Bahrain is "not free" in terms of press freedom and that the Government of Bahrain owns all media outlets. Bahrain has been ranked 169th out of 180 countries in the press freedom index.

The report noted that the press law is ambiguous and allows the imprisonment of journalists for criticizing the state and officials, and stated that the government prohibits content deemed opposing to its policies on the Internet. Journalists continue to face legal sanctions during performing their jobs. Besides, the authorities have used citizenship revocation as a punishment against Bahraini journalists. The government also refused to renew the credentials of many Bahraini journalists working for foreign news agencies.

"The report is part of a series of reports we issue periodically. In this report, we seek to review some of the state's violations of press freedom in previous periods, particularly the past year, by showing examples of cases where journalists have been targeted," said Mohamed Sultan, the organization's advocacy officer.

The report concluded by presenting several recommendations to the Bahraini authorities: the need to provide the legal environment for the press and journalists and allowing them to access information and exercise their oversight role on the government, involving civil society institutions concerned with the press in drafting a modern press law, lifting the ban on cyberspace and stopping prosecuting tweeters and bloggers, releasing all journalists and photographers and compensating their damages, restoring Bahraini citizenship to those who have been stripped of their nationalities, allowing special rapporteurs to visit the country, and allowing international media to unconditionally operate in Bahrain. 

Arabic Version