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’.