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Foreign journalists face continued harassment, restrictions imposed by authorities

(BCHR/IFEX) - In a short report BCHR has provided a synopsis of the actions carried out against foreign media personnel since the start of pro-democracy protests in Bahrain in February. The report begins with the most recent incident involving the brief detention of two journalists on 3 July, as follows:

July 6, 2011, Manama - Authorities in Bahrain briefly detained two foreign journalists on July 3 in the latest case of harassment of representatives of international media outlets in the country since the eruption of pro-democracy protests in February.

Nathalie Gillet, a correspondent for France 24 TV, and Bradley Hope, a correspondent for The National newspaper, were detained by Bahrain police officials at 4pm on Sunday while they were walking on the street in Manama, where a protest was planned.

They were taken to a police station near the village of Sanabis, where they were questioned. Video clips and photographs that Gillet had obtained were downloaded and inspected by police officials. Following a brief meeting with a senior officer the pair was eventually released after being held for two hours. It appears the sole purpose of their detention was to prevent them from covering the planned protest or the possible police reaction.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights deplores the Bahrain authorities' continued harassment and placement of restrictions on internationally recognized journalists in the country.

"Alongside the Bahraini authorities campaign of violence and abuse in this Saudi-backed crackdown, there has been a consistent campaign to harass, reign in or stamp out independent media reports," said Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

"Members of the international media are being targeted for conveying to the rest of the world the truth about the wide scale human rights abuses that are taking place in Bahrain."

Since the start of the pro-democracy protests in February and the subsequent government crackdown at least four international journalists have been physically attacked, at least five have been detained by authorities at some point, four others have been expelled from the country and at least four have been denied entry at the Bahrain airport.

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Click on the following link to read the entire report:
Foreign_Journo.doc (156 KB)

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