Al Jazeera TV Channel Temporarily Suspended

On 18 May 2010, the Ministry of Culture and Information decided to temporarily suspend the work of the Al Jazeera office in Bahrain. According to the Ministry, on 20 May 2010, the officials of the Channel were called in order to discuss a memorandum of understanding, outlining clear bases for cooperation between the Ministry and the Channel. The Ministry indicated that the reason for the suspension was Al Jazeera’s broadcasting of a programme on poverty in Bahrain, which was described as unprofessional and inaccurate. In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement condemning the decision to freeze the Channel, and described it as an attempt to muzzle the press. The Organization of ‘Reporters Without Borders’ also expressed its concern, and called upon the Government to revoke its decision.