Bahrain: A call to stop the clamp down on media in Bahrain

The World Association of Newspapers has joined an international appeal, calling for freedom of expression in Bahrain. The initiative was launched by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.
International Call for Press Freedom in Bahrain
The undersigned advocating human rights organizations express their deep concern of the recent development and serious deterioration of freedom of expression in Bahrain. This include s violations of:

- The right to post information about public issues in electronic sites,

- The right to print and distribute academic, documentary and artistic publications,

- The right to watch public-purpose films (documentary, drama, action, fiction, etc),

- The right to express views, as journalists, writers, authors, and bloggers

- The right for human rights defenders and activists to have access to media.

The Bahraini Authorities have taken direct and severe measures against activists from reaching public through media, prevented access to web sites, banned public oriented films, prohibited printing and publication of novels, documentary and historic books, and above all, prosecuted writers and journalists for practicing their profession and beliefs. Furthermore, abusive Penal decree code of 1976 and the Press decree law of 2002 have been used to further legalize the aforementioned violations.

The undersigned human rights organizations call upon the Bahraini authorities to: stop attacking freedom of expression, to abolish abusive laws, and to maintain respect for its commitment to the international charters and covenants, in particular Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The World Association of Newspapers

13 November 2007

Source: Arab Press Network