Bahrain: Journalists and Media Outlets shouldn’t suffer censorship during elections.
The Journalist Support Committee (JSC) calls on Bahrain’s authorities to hold to the principles of free press - and thus refrain from exerting pressure on media and media workers.
If journalists have a responsibility to be accurate and fair in their coverage, governments ought to guarantee access and safety from harm, so as to uphold their commitments to freedom of information and the press, as outlined by UNESCO freedom of expression guidelines.
Article 19 of the ICCPR states that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers”
Moreover, UN Security Resolution 1738 (2006) clearly puts the onus on governments to offer journalists protection, most specifically in times of war or social unrest - "the responsibility of States to comply with the relevant obligations under international law to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law.” And: “journalists, media professionals and associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered civilians, to be respected and protected as such”.
In the light of Bahrain social and political unrest, it remains vital for media to fulfill their mission without fear, restrictions, and/or duress from the authorities.
The Journalist Support Committee strongly believes that a free press sits a cornerstone to democratic developments and the promotion of human rights.
Journalist Support Committee - United Kingdom
23 July 2018