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Photographers brought to trial

(RSF/IFEX) - 29 September 2011 - (. . .) Four photographers who were previously tried before military courts - Mohamed Al-Aradi, Zuhair Aoun Al-Shama'a, Mojtaba Salmat and Mohammed Al-Sheikh - have been summoned before civilian courts and have been placed in detention pending trial. None of them had access to a lawyer during interrogation or during the first trial.

Al-Aradi and Al-Shama'a are to be tried on 20 and 22 November respectively for covering an authorized demonstration and for "inciting hatred of the government by posting photos on the Internet." Salmat is to be tried on 14 November for taking photos for foreign TV stations and for participating in unauthorized demonstrations.

Al-Sheikh is to be tried on 23 October on charges of photographing banned demonstrations and inciting hatred of the government by disseminating photos, online that caused harm to Bahrain. He is also accused of sending the photos to foreign news agencies.

Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of these photographers and the withdrawal of all the charges against them. The press freedom organization wrote to Dr. Salah Ali Mohamed Abdulrahman, the head of the foreign affairs commission, on 20 September calling for the release of all dissidents. No reply has so far been received.

On 19 September, Reporters Without Borders also wrote to Cherif Bassiouni, the head of an independent commission of inquiry appointed by King Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa, about the abuses against journalists and the many media freedom violations since the start of the anti-government protests last February.

Click here to read the full statement
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