On the night he was shot, Ahmed Ismail Hassan al Samadi was working. Protestors had gathered along a highway near his home in a small Bahraini village. With his handheld camcorder, Ahmed filmed as they marched. He filmed as security forces arrived in marked and unmarked cars. The citizen journalist had tens of hours of footage of scenes just like this from a year of ongoing demonstrations that began at the height of the Arab Spring. With one bullet, his filming came to an end.
New York, August 1, 2013--A Bahraini blogger has been detained and a photographer is missing amid signs that Bahraini authorities are trying to crack down on critical voices ahead of protests planned for August 14, according to news reports.
For two years, Bahrainis have been asking "Where is Ali Abdel Imam?" And now finally, they have an answer.
The prominent opposition blogger suddenly emerged from hiding last week, announcing he had been granted asylum in the United Kingdom, news sources reported.
He had not been heard from since March 17, 2011, when he cryptically tweeted, "I get tired from my phone so I switched it of no need for rumors plz." The Bahraini government had just declared a state of emergency, as massive reform protests rocked the island country. Abdel Imam, who had already been arrested twice before for his work, feared the government would arrest him again in an impending crackdown. So when they came for him the following day, Abdel Imam made sure he wasn't there. He had not been heard from since--until last week.
New York, April 19, 2013--The Bahraini government ordered three journalists from the British television network ITV to leave the country today, according to news reports citing an ITV spokesman. The journalists, who were also briefly detained on Thursday, are in the process of leaving the country.
The Bahraini press, like almost everything else in the island country, is sharply divided. If the government would take steps to strengthen press freedom instead of restricting access, then much of this divide could be bridged.
The authorities continued to restrict critical reporting and independent news coverage a year after protesters began calling for reform in Bahrain. In February and April, the government denied visas to journalists and press freedom groups, including CPJ, and detained and deported several foreign journalists, effectively barring international news coverage of the unrest surrounding the Formula One Grand Prix and the first anniversary of the protests. Despite King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa’s pledge to uphold press freedom and reform, conditions did not improve. A journalist was detained for months after criticizing a proposed union between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and an appeals court upheld the life sentence of critical blogger Abduljalil Alsingace, who has been imprisoned since March 2011. A well-known videographer was killed while filming a pro-reform protest in March.
New York, January 9, 2013--Bahraini authorities should drop charges they have filed against a photojournalist in connection with his coverage of anti-government protests in April, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
3 journalists killed since 1992
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