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.