Today is the first trial in the ‘Bahrain Terror Network’ with Bahraini blogger Ali Abdulemam accused of receiving and using funds from the 3rd suspect Saeed Al-Shehabi, Head of the Bahrain Freedom Movement (London) *[Akhbar Al-Khaleej] to maintain Bahrainonline.org and use it as a platform to broadcast wrong and malicious information, in addition to pushing for regime change and creating chaos in the country.
Those who have had the pleasure of meeting, working and/or being friends with Ali Abdulemam fully know that he is simply a family man and an advocate of freedom of speech and the development of human rights in Bahrain. Never has he had an agenda in changing the regime nor putting Bahrain into turmoil. Those two things go completely against what he believes in.
I pray for his wellbeing, and I am confident that he will receive a fair trial based on the outcomes of recent big profile cases like the Majid Asghar case and Waad’s “Basna Fasaad” posters.
*I faced great difficulties using the search function on the Akhbar Al-Khaleej website but with no avail. The article was written 2-3 days after he was first arrested. If anyone can tell me the exact date of his arrest I will then search through the archives again and add the link. Not adding links to any information is unlike me.
You can find more information about the Free Ali Abdulemam campaign including badges and blog posts at http://freeabdulemam.wordpress.com/
Well the suspension only lasted 12 hours, and the dust has cleared so we can now see the reason for the suspension and how it was lifted so quickly..
The reason for the suspension, making many peoples speculations correct, was Shura MP Ms. Samira Rajab’s article blasting the Iran regime and hinting of Ahmedinajad’s apparent “Jewish” descent.
AAK Newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Anwar Abdulrahman has stood by the article citing that what Ms. Rajab wrote was true, frank and honest.
الأستاذ أنور عبدالرحمن: لم يسحب وانما حجب.. يوم أمس الأول وأنا في زيارة للخارج ويوجد فارق بيني وبين البحرين 4 ساعات، وفي الرابعة فجرا اتصل بي القائمون على إدارة التحرير وأخبروني أن المسئولين بوزارة الإعلام قرروا إيقاف “أخبار الخليج”، فدار حديث بيني وبين مسئولين في وزارة الإعلام وكذلك معالي الشيخة مي آل خليفة وزيرة الإعلام والثقافة وكان حديثا حضاري لا أننا كنا نعرف السبب وهو نشر مقال بقلم الأستاذة سميرة رجب بشأن إيران وظروف إيران وحقائق إيران ونتائج الفكر الثوري الإيراني..
Akhbar Al-Khaleej 24/6/2009
“I was on a visit outside the country where the time difference was four hours, where I recieved a phone call from the editorial staff at 4 a.m (midnight Bahrain time) telling that officials from the Ministry of Culture and Information ordered the suspension of the newspaper. I spoke with those officials and with the Minister Shaikha Mai bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa in a quiet and civil manner. When then knew that the reason for the suspension was Ms. Samira Rajab’s article about Iran, its situation and the aftermath of its Islamic revolutionary idealogy”.
Now we know how it got suspended, but how did it get back on the shelves so quickly?
قال صاحب السمو الشيخ خليفة بن سلمان آل خليفة رئيس الوزراء على هامش الاحتفال بتكريم المتفوقين أمس: ان مؤازرتنا للصحافة البحرينية في أي شيء تتعرض له واجب.. وواجبنا نحو جريدة “أخبار الخليج” أكبر بمقدار طول دربها الطويل الذي قطعته في خدمة الوطن.
وأضاف سموه: لا يمكن ان نسمح بأن يمس الصحافة والصحفيين أي سوء
We must stand by the Bahrain press, and it is my duty to do so, and that is even more so in the case of Akhbar Al-Khaleej because of its long history in Bahrain.
So basically PM Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa lifted the suspension,because AAK is after all his “favourite newspaper” (can’t find the source in AAK archives..Damn!)
and of course, the newspaper doesn’t fail to lavish praise to the PM for this swift lift of the suspension.
سمو الرئيس لا يسعني إلا أن أتوجه باسم كل الزملاء في الجريدة بالشكر الجزيل لسموكم الكريم على وقفتكم الرائعة الى جانب “أخبار الخليج” عندما حُجبت عن قرائها، فمهما نفعل فإننا لن نوفيك حقك.
أفضالكم علينا لن ننساها ما حيينا.. وسنظل نرددها زادا لنا على طريق العطاء للوطن.
Same link as above..
“Everyone at AAK newspaper would like to thank you for your gracious support for the newspaper during this suspension, we are forever indebted to you.
We will never forget this for the rest of our lives, and we will carry it with pride as we continue giving to this country”.
Although I am happy that this problem was solved and that the newspaper is back up and running but what disheartens me is the way things are done in Bahrain,
Every problem starts off with an unfair and OTT punishment/obstacle and if you ever want to get ‘justice’ you need to find someone high up and ask for their help or better known as a ‘was6a’ to fix your problem either with a word or a swipe of a pen. After getting what you want, being the good mannered society we are, you have to praise the person who helped you and massage their ego.
We claim that we have laws and that we all abide to them..We claim that we can settle matters with logic and within courtroom walls.. Using our Sharia, our constitution, our laws and good judges..but the ugly reality is that the only law is survival to the persons with the most ‘Was6a’s!
Will we ever learn? Will we ever break these shackles and actually become a good country?
People around Bahrain, in their homes, in their offices and NOT on Gulf Air flights will notice something missing today..
No Akhbar Al-Kahleej newspaper!
The following was published on the newspaper’s website http://www.aaknews.com and its sister newspaper the English speaking Gulf Daily News
على ضوء أوامر من السلطات المختصة تم ابلاغها إلى الأستاذ أنور عبدالرحمن رئيس تحرير “أخبار الخليج” بعد منتصف ليلة أمس تقرر وقف صدور جريدة “أخبار الخليج” حتى اشعار آخر لأمور لها علاقة بمخالفة قانون المطبوعات.
وعلى ضوء ما تقدم تم حجب الجريدة عن الصدور ليلة أمس بعد أن كان العدد الذي من المفترض أن يصدر صباح اليوم على وشك الطبع.
MANAMA: Bahrain’s concerned authorities informed Akhbar Al Khaleej Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Anwar Abdulrahman late last night that the daily newspaper has been suspended until further notice for reasons related to the Press law.
The suspension order was received a few minutes before the newspaper went to Press.
Mr Abdulrahman was holding negotiations with the concerned authorities over the issue early this morning.
What has led to this ban is not yet known and what’s it connection to the Press law. This comes as another blow to freedom of speech in Bahrain, after seeing a wide spread of web censorship with the aim of ‘a clean web’ which conveniently blocked everything from opposition websites, pornography, gambling, anti Islamic websites, web proxies and Google Translate, it seems that the ever enlongating arm of censorship has hit the mainstream media!
The strangest and most shocking thing about this ban is that it is Akbar Al-Khaleej, a newspaper which is predominately pro-government and most of it stories cover either one of two things.. What’s going on in Muharraq or What PM Shaikh Khalifa is doing…oh and I forgot, about Shaikh Khalifa and his undying love for the people of Muharraq…
So what has this clawless kitten of a newspaper done to ruffle a few feathers in government?? Only time will tell but for now this is a very sad day in Bahrain history and its attempt in becoming a democratic country..