The detention of Journalists

Freedom of expression is meaningless

The President of the IFJ Jim Bu Milha supported the position

of the BJA regarding the abolishment of detention as a punishment for journalists. He also added that ‘it seems that there are some MPs who do not want to see the ratification of a modern amendment which keeps up with the standards in the developed world. Bu Milha regarded the linking of the Press Law with the Penal Code or any other law as very dangerous. He said that “all this press freedom in Bahrain will become meaningless if the detention punishment remains in any form. We must not imprison journalists for what they write; even the worst journalists should not be treated in this manner.’

Bu Milha also said that the House of Representatives should understand that the press is the cornerstone of democracy and that MPs cannot practice democracy without the press. Moreover they cannot make the right decision without the press, which provides them with information and various opinions, the press acts as a supervising authority. Bu Milha also criticized website censorship and described it as backward which is bad for Bahrain.

The Secretary General of the IFJ Aidan White said that ‘the Government should consult with Bahraini journalists regarding the Press Law and the issue of self regulation’. He added that ‘any proposed laws will fail without the support of the journalists’.