Here's how free the media is in Bahrain. Like little children, journalists have to take permission from mummy and daddy before they open their big mouths and frogs leap out.

This appeared in today's Gulf Daily News:

Reports land journalist in the dock
By MOHAMMED ASLAM

A 52-year-old Bahraini journalist is being prosecuted for allegedly writing for a newspaper abroad without government permission.

He should have had official permission from the Information Ministry, the Lower Criminal Court heard.

The defendant, a journalist for nearly 30 years, is charged with illegally working as a correspondent for a Kuwaiti newspaper.

He admitted at an earlier hearing writing for the Kuwaiti paper, but told the court he had no idea that he needed ministry permission.

The ministry sent a complaint to the public prosecution that the journalist was acting as a correspondent for the newspaper without obtaining official permission.

It said it had repeatedly warned him to stop sending articles abroad without permission.

He has violated the Press and Publication Law of 2002, said the ministry.

The defendant worked illegally as a correspondent for the paper from March 8, 2002 to February 28, 2003, says the prosecution.

He told the court he stopped sending articles abroad for some time when he learned he could be prosecuted if he did not have official permission.

"I asked officials at the Information Ministry about the requirements one needs to practice this profession of becoming a journalist and a correspondent here in Bahrain," he said.

"They told me that they wanted a letter from the editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti newspaper requesting the Information Ministry to register me as its correspondent in Bahrain."

He said the paper sent the letter as requested and he continued as a correspondent.

The court adjourned the case until September 12, to find out whether the ministry had given permission or not.

5 comments:

Evil Odd said...

This monkeyness will stop one day :)

Would it be possible for you to provide us with more info please? What sort of articles did this journalist write?

And..who is prosecuting him?

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Monkeyness?

This is hilarious. I won't stop laughing today. Thanks. I really needed something/someone to cheer me up!

I am afraid I disagree with you .. because the continuation of this level of monkeyness is our destiny in this part of the world. It is the only thing which manages to bring a smile to our faces - even when we are gagged, shackled, hand-cuffed, out into a chest and thrown in the deep end!

The writer concerned is a journalist of Egyptian origin, who swore to me when I spoke to him yesterday that he has never "betrayed Bahrain by writing anything negative about it."

He also admitted that he has reached an out of court agreement with the information ministry and that they have kissed noses and made up.

He said he did not want to make a fuss out of it now and that it is a dead topic.

So I apologised to him for caring and being concerned about what amounts to terrorism against people just going about doing their work.

Having said this, I am really worried whether I should or shouldn't speak, think, breathe and write (not necessarily in this order).

I shouldn't blog because I am not registered with the information ministry. I shouldn't write because I have no permission from the information ministry to write. I shouldn't think because it will upset people (not only at the information ministry) with low IQ who would feel left out and I can't be seen as being a step or two ahead of them...and I can't breathe because the air around us is saturated with pollutants - the levels and nature of which we will never know because equipment used to measure them has "broken down" ;)

Ali Abdulemam said...

do they think them self godfathers?
the world has been changed and every thing around us is changed, but thier mind i dont think it can be changed

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Hey... Look who's here!

Ali, please consider this for a second. Those people don't consider themselves as the godfather. They consider themselves as God Almighty.

I know this is blasphemy and someone should point out to them that there is a life cycle for everything.

Look where Saddam is today?

Ali Abdulemam said...

you remind me with one of Gawar speach when he said
"Our problem is not with the GOD, its with those who think them selfs we are the GOD"

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