Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rights Defender Forbidden Media Access


Authorities force cancellation of live programme on US president's visit

Country/Topic: Bahrain
Date: 16 January 2008
Source: Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)
Target(s): television station(s)
Type(s) of violation(s): censored
Urgency: Threat

(BCHR/IFEX) - The following is a 13 January 2008 BCHR statement:

Rights Defender Forbidden Media Access

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its concern about the measures taken by the Bahraini authorities to terminate a live programme arranged by the Egyptian News Satellite with Mr. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja - President of the BCHR - to cover the trip of Mr. George W. Bush, US president, to Bahrain. The producer of the Egyptian programme expressed their apology to Mr. Al-Khawaja for the last-minute cancellation of the programme as a result of the sudden refusal of the Bahrain TV administration to carry out the interview, which was arranged over a week prior through the Union of Arab Broadcasters.

The Bahraini Authorities did not explain the reasons for the cancellation of the programme, which was scheduled to be broadcast at 10 p.m. Saturday evening (local time) on January 12, 2008. This act by the local authorities cannot be interpreted as anything other than part of the systematic media blockade imposed on human rights defenders who may portray an image about the situation in Bahrain different than that broadcast by the governmental media bodies to the regional and international communities.


Send appeals to the authorities:- asking them to respect freedom of expression, particularly that of human rights defenders, whose views are important to maintain and protect general rights and liberties- asking them to stop interfering with human rights defenders' statements to the media and with their other communications with the public


His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, King of BahrainHis Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Cabinet Prime MinisterMr. Jehad Bu-Kamal, Minister of InformationRiffa, BahrainFax: +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:,, Internet: