Several weeks ago, The trial of 25 Bahrainis including bloggers Ali Abdulemam and Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace in what has been called the “Terror Network” accused of instigating violence against the state and broadcasting “false news about the situation in Bahrain”, started with a blanket ban over Bahrain’s news outlets covering the trial.
The media blackout came in the shape of local journalists complying to the Public Prosecution requests, in addition to foreign news agencies not being able to film the trials because all their equipment was held at customs such as the BBC.
The only means of getting any information or insights came from citizen journalism.
Nabeel Rajab, Head of the now dissolved Bahrain Centre of Human Rights (BCHR), has been turned from human rights activist and observer into a news coverage reporter by force and necessity. He has been using social media such as Twitter (@Nabeelrajab), Facebook and Bahrainonline.com as platforms to spread the word.
The most impressive and effective use of technology is bambuser.com, a web broadcasting service. Rajab uses his mobile phone to record short interviews with MPs, the defendants’ lawyers and family members whilst sitting outside the Ministry of Justice where the trial is being held. Such coverage has helped clear many issues and focused on the allegations of torture towards the defendants.
We are in need of more tech savvy and courageous people to cover these trials and give a bigger, better and impartial picture of what is going on. The tools are out there for the picking, we just need YOU!
- The next hearing will be on December 9th..
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/