Manama, on January 16, the Ministry of Information issued a decision to suspend Al-Wasat newspapers’ website immediately and until further notice. The ministry said that the newspaper publishes and broadcasts material that raises division in the community, discord, disruption of national unity and disturbs public peace.
Accordingly, the Committee issued the following statement:
The Journalist Support Committee learned that government officials circulated editors of local newspapers to marginalize all news concerning the execution of three Bahraini citizens. The circular demanded to hide the reactions of those opposing the execution. And which the newspaper did not comply in its edition published on Monday, January 16, 2017.
The request of local officials is contrary to Article 19 of the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights signed by the Government of Bahrain, and the determination to sanction Al-Wasat newspaper by preventing it from publishing online is another breach of this Article.
Thus, the frequent attacks against journalists and media outlets by the Bahraini authorities, through various methods, from killing, arbitrary arrest, harassment, prevention from traveling and gross breaches of human rights, freedom of press, freedom of opinion and expression, and most recent violation the decision to ban the circulation and use of Al-Wasat newspapers’ website, which constitute an execution to the profession of journalism and the work of journalists.
The Journalist Support Committee demands the government of Bahrain to fulfill its obligations to respect freedom of opinion and expression and the profession of journalism, and calls on the international community and human rights organizations to take the necessary measures to put an end and condemn these violations against the media and press freedom in Bahrain, and to exercise pressure on the Bahraini government to cease its constraints on journalists and media outlets, and to take actions and serious measures to bring the perpetrators to a fair trial.