International Press Freedom Awards

Mansoor al-Jamri, Bahrain


2011 CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee

Mansoor al-Jamri is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Al-Wasat, an independent Arabic-language daily, and a regular contributor to other publications on topics such as politics and human rights in Bahrain.

When waves of protests swept the country in early 2011, Al-Wasat called for moderation and prudence by demonstrators and authorities. In March, armed, masked thugs attacked and blockaded the daily's presses for a week, blocking employees from getting to and from work.

In April, authorities shut Al-Wasat and charged al-Jamri with "publishing false news" intended to incite Shiite unrest. Al-Jamri, called to answer criminal charges, resigned in the face of intimidation and harassment, as did the paper's managing editor and news director. Al-Wasat was allowed to reopen under state control, but its board of directors voted to reinstate al-Jamri as editor-in-chief.

Al-Wasat offers independent, non-sectarian coverage, which has proved popular with readers. Over the years, the daily has been periodically subjected to harassment and political pressure for its journalism.

A mechanical engineer for 15 years, al-Jamri has written two books in Arabic, Memories of Childhood in 2007 and Interventions on Thought and Politics in 2008. He holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Paisley University. 


To watch Mansoor al-Jamri's acceptance speech, click here.


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