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Authorities force cancellation of live programme on US president's visit

(BCHR/IFEX) - The following is a 13 January 2008 BCHR statement:

Rights Defender Forbidden Media Access

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its concern about the measures taken by the Bahraini authorities to terminate a live programme arranged by the Egyptian News Satellite with Mr. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja - President of the BCHR - to cover the trip of Mr. George W. Bush, US president, to Bahrain. The producer of the Egyptian programme expressed their apology to Mr. Al-Khawaja for the last-minute cancellation of the programme as a result of the sudden refusal of the Bahrain TV administration to carry out the interview, which was arranged over a week prior through the Union of Arab Broadcasters.

The Bahraini Authorities did not explain the reasons for the cancellation of the programme, which was scheduled to be broadcast at 10 p.m. Saturday evening (local time) on January 12, 2008. This act by the local authorities cannot be interpreted as anything other than part of the systematic media blockade imposed on human rights defenders who may portray an image about the situation in Bahrain different than that broadcast by the governmental media bodies to the regional and international communities.

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