Attacks continue in a media-gagged country

LONDON, April 9, 2012 – Bahrain Press Association "BPA", the London-based association concerned with defending and addressing issues related to Bahrain media and press people, condemns the brutal attack by riot police on Ahmed Al Bosta, a veteran and prominent journalist, this evening in the city of Manama. Kicked, punched, and slapped after being arrested, Mr. Al Bosta was brutally beaten with the fully-armed security forces using abusive language against him. Al Bosta's story unfolds as he happened to be in Manama concurrent with a peaceful protest. Al Bosta told the BPA that the riot police were dispersing protesters as he was arrested. With a 30-minute arrest, the riot police spared no efforts in humiliating Mr. Al Bosta with words of disdain and abuse. He was released afterwards.

The BPA confirms that the regime ongoing attacks on journalists are testimony that the war on press freedom is not yet over. This attack comes in less than a week of murdering a camera-man, Ahmed Ismail, with live ammunition used by regime-led thugs as he was taping a peaceful protest in the village of Salmabad, south-west of the capital, on March 31.

The BPA is highly concerned at the continued and systematic violations by the regime on press professionals, especially with those criminals being granted impunity. This is seen by the temporizing strategy played out by the regime in bringing the perpetrators to justice as the murderers of blogger Zakariay Al Asheeri and publisher Karim Fakhrawi along with those responsible for torturing scores of media people are still free. Added to this a list of media professionals who were arbitrarily dismissed from their jobs despite the regime undertakings to reinstate them all. The toll of those dismissed stood at 90 individuals who worked in the public and private sectors alike.

The BPA holds the Bahraini authorities responsible for the safety of those working in the media field; whose stakeholders are performing their functions and social roles in very challenging conditions in a capital ranked by Reporters Without Boarders (RWB) as being one of the top ten cities with the most repressive profile on press freedom worldwide.

For more information, please contact: Bahrain Press Association UK +447821135441 US +12403869925 Email: Info@Bahrainpa.org