Bahrain Chamber of Commerce assesses press freedom….

May 4, 2015

The 2015 Press Kowtow award should probably go to the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) which – as reported by the equally sharp Bahrain News Agency (BNA) on 3 May 2015 – saluted the national press strides over the past years“. It issued this statement as Bahrain joined other nations in marking the World Press Freedom Day, being held this year under the theme “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, and Media Safety in the Digital Age”. It lauded His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier for their support…..

As Brian Dooley of Human Rights First rightly points out today on Twitter ( Bahrain scored 163rd [!!] place in the Index on Censorship survey, while Nabeel Rajab — a winner of the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards in 2012 — was arrested (again) on 2 April 2015 on charges involving a series of recent tweets and an opinion piece published in the Huffington Post. [If he is convicted on all current charges, Rajab could face more than 10 years in prison.] Several organisations (such as the Human Rights Foundation, Human Rights First, Amnesty International, ISHR, FIDH and OMCT) have sharply condemned the arbitrary arrest of the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).

On 29 April Scholars at Risk issued an appeal for Dr. Al-Singace, previously a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Bahrain, who was sentenced to life in prison on allegations stemming from his exercise of freedom of expression and freedom of association. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has criticized the Bahraini regime for its heavy-handed measures against Shia Muslims: “Shia Muslims continued to be detained and arrested arbitrarily throughout the year.

Bahrain News Agency | BCCI hails Bahrain’s press strides.

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