5/05/2017

CPJ, Commitee to Protect Journalist

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CHAIRMAN
Sandra Mims Rowe
HONORARY CHAIRMAN
Terry Anderson
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Joel Simon
DIRECTORS
Andrew Alexander
Franz Allina
Christiane Amanpour ABC NEWS
Dean Baquetthe NEW YORK TIMES
John S. Carroll
Kathleen Carroll THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rajiv Chandrasekaran THE WASHINGTON
POST
Sheila Coronel COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
GRADUATE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM
Josh Friedman
Anne Garrels
James C. Goodale DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON
Cheryl Gould NBC NEWS
Arianna Huffington AOL HUFFINGTON POST
MEDIA GROUP
Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Gwen Ifill PBS
Jonathan Klein GETTY IMAGES
Jane Kramer THE NEW YORKER
Mhamed Krichen AL-JAZEERA
David Laventhol
Lara Logan CBS NEWS
Rebecca MacKinnon
Kati Marton
Michael Massing
Geraldine Fabrikant Metz THE NEW YORK
TIMES
Victor Navasky THE NATION
Andres Oppenheimer THE MIAMI HERALD
Burl Osborne FREEDOM COMMUNICATIONS
Clarence Page CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Norman Pearlstine BLOOMBERG L.P.
Ahmed Rashid
Gene Roberts PHILIP MERRILL COLLEGE OF
JOURNALISM UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
María Teresa Ronderos SEMANA.COM
Diane Sawyer ABC NEWS
David Schlesinger THOMSON REUTERS
Paul C.Tash TAMPA BAY TIMES
Jacob Weisberg THE SLATE GROUP
Mark Whitaker CNN WORLDWIDE
Brian Williams NBC NEWS
Matthew Winkler BLOOMBERG NEWS
330 7th Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10001 USA
PHONE: +1 (212) 465-1004
FAX: +1 (212) 465-9568
info@cpj.org
www.cpj.org
CHAIRMAN
Sandra Mims Rowe
VICE CHAIR
Kathleen Carroll
HONORARY CHAIRMAN
Terry Anderson
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Joel Simon
DIRECTORS
Stephen J. Adler REUTERS
Franz Allina
Amanda Bennett
Krishna Bharat
Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Susan Chira THE NEW YORK TIMES
Sheila Coronel COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
GRADUATE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM
Josh Friedman
CAREY INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL GOOD
Anne Garrels
Cheryl Gould
Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Jonathan Klein GETTY IMAGES
Jane Kramer THE NEW YORKER
Mhamed Krichen AL-JAZEERA
Isaac Lee UNIVISION
Lara Logan CBS NEWS
Rebecca MacKinnon
Kati Marton
Michael Massing
Geraldine Fabrikant Metz
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Victor Navasky THE NATION
Clarence Page CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Ahmed Rashid
David Remnick THE NEW YORKER
Alan Rusbridger
LADY MARGARET HALL, OXFORD
David Schlesinger
Karen Amanda Toulon BLOOMBERG NEWS
Jacob Weisberg THE SLATE GROUP
Jon Williams ABC NEWS (Ex Officio)
Matthew Winkler BLOOMBERG NEWS


April 27, 2017

HM Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa
Office of HM the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace
Kingdom of Bahrain
Via Fax: +973 1766 4587

Your Majesty,

We write today to express our collective concern about Bahrain’s
seeming attempt to silence independent reporting within the country.
The government has over the past year refused to grant accreditation to
several of its own citizens who report for foreign and independent media,
including those working for The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse,
France 24, and Monte Carlo Doualiya. It has on multiple occasions not granted
media visas to foreign journalists seeking entry. One of the Bahraini journalists
refused a routine accreditation renewal, Nazeeha Saeed, now faces
prosecution for continuing to work.

As recently as last month, Mohammed Al-Shaikh, who worked as a
photographer for Agence France-Presse until Bahraini authorities refused to
renew his accreditation last year, was arrested upon his return from a trip
overseas and held for more than 24 hours over his work for AFP.

For several days in January, the government of Bahrain banned Al-Wasat
newspaper from publishing online. In rescinding that order, the government
warned all media outlets to avoid “posting anything that incites divisions or
discord within the community, undermines national unity or disturbs the
peace.”
That wording is so broad that it could be used to justify targeting almost any
legitimate newsgathering that authorities do not like. We strongly call on the
government to reverse these needless policies.

These recent actions have had a chilling effect on the media’s ability to cover
Bahrain at a time when the country faces a growing set of challenges. The
apparently coordinated action against journalists working for international
news agencies suggests that Bahrain—which prides itself as being a business
friendly, reform-minded beacon of openness and tolerance—aims to block
independent news and images from reaching the wider world.

We collectively call on you to instruct your government to allow journalists to
freely operate in Bahrain and to give foreign media organizations equal access
to the country. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter further.
Sincerely,
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

Agence France-Presse (AFP)
The Associated Press (AP)
France 24
International Press Institute (IPI)
Monte Carlo Doualiya
Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

CC:
H.E. Ambassador Shaikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Khalifa
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain
3502 International Dr. NW,
Washington DC 20008
USA
Fax: 1 202 362 2192
Email: ambsecretary@bahrainembassy.org