Freedom House: Deterioration in Freedom of Expression

According to Freedom House’s annual report on freedom of press around the world, Bahrain’s position has declined six places from last year to 159th in the world. Bahrain also came in 12th place in freedom of press out of the Arab states, 3 down from its position last year and 2 down from its position 2 years ago.

According to Freedom House’s point system, Bahrain scored 72 points this year compared to 71 last year, which put it on the list of ‘un-free’ states in terms of freedom of press. The report stated that Bahraini legislation on websites is too harsh because the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority controls the contents of websites, including electronic publications. It also mentioned the amendment to the law in 2008 which cancelled censorship and potential prison sentences against journalists, yet journalists and Internet surfers may still be in danger of legal action, according to the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Penal Code.