A letter to the King of Bahrain about barring HAQ site
Eighteen censored websites in the Kingdom : Reporters withour borders writes to the king of Bahrain
The information ministry has just censored a human rights website for the 26th time this year.
We already expressed our outrage to you in January about the censorship of the website operated by Human Rights Information (HRInfo). This time it is the website of the Movement of Liberties and Democratic Bahrain (www.haaq.org) that has been rendered inaccessible to your subjects for the past week. Banning access to a source of information about civil liberties is outrageous and is a serious violation of the right to diverse news and information.
No fewer than 18 websites are currently banned by the information ministry. Most of them are discussion forums and political websites. We reiterate our call for the lifting of the ban that has been imposed on news websites and blogs on the grounds that they have referred to the “Bandargate” political scandal, in which members of the government are allegedly involved. We are astonished by your apparent indifference to this situation since January.
Determined to oppose the continuation of your current Internet policies, we hope you will take account of this new request to let your subjects express themselves online and allow the Internet to develop freely. We remind you that we already told you of our concern in April 2005 about your government’s adoption of a regulation requiring websites dealing with Bahrain to register with the information ministry.
Lifting the censorship on these 18 websites would send a clear signal that your are paying attention to the situation of freedom of expression in your kingdom.
We trust you will give this matter your careful consideration."