Human Right Activists and Journalists
voice Reservations about Private Media Law

The Secretary General for Bahrain Human Rights Society, Abdulla Al –Drazy , expressed his reservation regarding a a memorandum filed by the government to the Parliament on the Private Media Bill. He

Abdulla Al –Drazy
said that some of the articles in the proposed law hinder journalism especially those relating to authorising the Minister of Information to stop a broadcast immediately. He also added that such articles limit the scope of freedom, allow for malicious actions and put the decisions at the mercy of the moods of the Minister. This can also lead to investors refraining from establishing private channels. According to Drazy the solution of this problem should be the responsibility of the judicial authorities as they should always be referred to regarding any breach. Drazy added that ‘Bahrain is very behind with respect to establishing private channels, there must be a law which increases the scope of freedom if these channels want to be distinguished in their work’.

On the other hand, the President of the Transparency Society, Abdul Nabi Al Ekri, stressed the need to be transparent in granting licenses to these channels. He criticised the article, which states that receiving no response for a channel license from the authority within two months is regarded as a rejection; stressing that in order to be transparent in the subject, reasons should be provided or an opportunity should be given to the applicant to resort to the court to look into the reasons for the rejection.