Court Rules in Favour of Nabeel Rajab

Unsurprisingly, a Court has ruled in favour of Nabeel Rajab, the President of the dissolved Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, in his lawsuit against Akhbar Al Khaleej newspaper. This case, as well as many others, reveals the independence and impartiality of Bahraini judges. On 19 October 2010, the High Criminal Court fined the Editor in Chief of Akhbar Al Khaleej newspaper Anwar Abdulrahman (100 Dinars) for the publication of articles, which include insults and accusations against the complainant.

The Bahrain Journalists’ Association was not content with the Court’s decision, and saw it as a threat to journalists, and a step which could add to future restrictions in freedom of expression in the Bahraini press. This is because the decision enforces the principle of holding any journalist personally accountable for his opinion, rather than the institution he works for.

The Society also said that while it had the utmost respect for the integrity and decisions of the Bahraini Court, it believes that journalism cases are opinion-based, and hence they should not be dealt with like other cases of personal responsibility.