Bahrain lacks the basic principles of freedom of expression in various media forms as well as suffering from a lack of a free press. The authority continues to censor publications and publishing houses, suspend its publications, close media institutions, block websites and cut off internet and communication services. Journalists, media professionals, editors, publishers, and bloggers face a variety of harassment, and torture, within prisons.
Many journalists and writers in Bahrain have faced lengthy prison sentences and the revocation of their citizenship in the absence of an independent judiciary, and a modern law that regulates the media and the press, protects journalists, the independent press, and freedom of expression. The policy of broadcasting incitement and hate speech is still systematic in various official and semi-official organizations, with a complete absence of independent media, press, and a state monopoly on television and radio.
In its latest report, which measures the index of freedom of the press in 180 countries around the world, Reporters Without Borders ranked Bahrain 167th in the world’s press freedom rankings, down from last year’s rating. Repression also doubled opposition voices in Bahrain and engaged them in fabricated cases such as “participating in subversive demonstrations and supporting terrorism”, which exposes them to life imprisonment.
Many journalists have been subjected to ill-treatment, including those who have revoked their nationality, and that since 2016 Bahraini authorities have put more pressure on local journalists working for foreign media, so they have had difficulty replenishing their visas.
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