Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bahraini Authorities Ban an Academic Publication


Bahraini Authorities Ban an Academic Publication

Country/Topic: Bahrain
Date: 20 October 2007
Source: Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)
Target(s):Authors, Historians, Artists, Academicians, ResearchersType(s) of violation(s): Ban, censorship, forbidden,Urgency: Flash

(BCHR/IFEX) - The following is a statement from BCHR, a member of IFEX:

In a statement published today (www.alayam.com/ArticleDetail.asp?CategoryId=2&ArticleId=285250), the BahrainJournalists Association (BJA) disclosed the news about none endorsement ofa book manuscripted by the academician Dr Nader Kathem titled: 'MemoryExploitations: In a Pluralistic Society , Saddled with History'. It is acollection of academic series published by the author in the local press,during the past period.
Dr Kathem's book falls in the context of the development ofmulticulturalism in Bahrain and discusses the historical and culturalconstraints which prevented the establishment of cultural pluralism inBahrain and the completion of coexistence and harmony between itscommunities .
After the legal period of three months of submitting a publication request,which was on 19 July 2007, Dr Kathem has not received a response or theauthorization from the Publication Directorate of the Ministry ofInformation (MI) to allow for printing his series in the form of a book.

The vice president of the BJA. Mr Adel Marzouk stated that 'procrastinationof the Ministry of Information represented by the Department of Printingand Publishing in issuing an authorization of printing Dr Kathem's book isa mislead compass to genuine monitoring and an indication to a retreat frompolitical reform, respect of freedom of speech and creativity'
It is to be noted that Dr Kathem book will be the second publication to beheld within one year, after the novel 'Omar bin Al-Khattab, A Martyr' bythe well known writer Abdullah Khalifa, which was passed to the Ministry ofInformation over seven months ago. For an earlier novel by Mr Khalifa,'Husain's Head', the official response by the MI is to forbid and ban itspublication in Bahrain.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its concerns over thepersistent censorship of all forms of freedom of expression in Bahrain. Italso seeks the intervention of the new minister to play a active role inchanging the policies by which the Bahraini MI is run, considering theworld openness and the knowledge transfer across, overcoming alltechnological and physical borders.


Send appeals to the Bahraini Authorities asking for their respect tofreedom of expression by academicians, researchers, novelists andjournalists. This require:
- lifting ban on publications in general and in particular, academicresearches, novels and artistic products.
- showing respect to academic researchers, artists, writers and novelistswho take the burden to produce creative products to humanity.
-taking measure to amend Press and Publication Decree code no 47 of 2002 toensure its compliance with the international declarations and covenants aswell as vows of its leadership to respect freedom of expression .


- His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa- King of Bahrain
Riffa -Bahrain
- His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-KhalifaCabinet Prime MinisterFax: +97 3 1 721 1363

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

For further information contact Nabeel Rajab, Vice-President, BCHR, Manama,Bahrain, tel: +973 3963 3399 / 3940 0720, fax: +973 1779 5170, e-mail:nabeel.rajab@bahrainrights.org , info@bahrainrights.org , Internet:http://www.bahrainrights.org