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..