Behrain, Middle East, World

American Journalists in Trouble in Bahrain

Bahrain has been the hosting grounds for Shia-Sunni conflicts for many years now. The protests and uprisings from the Shia population in the country have been causing a lot of conflict in the country. While 2011 was the year of the uprising, small protests have been taking place throughout the country since then. As the conflicts still continue, there is news of 4 US media persons getting detained in Bahrain. According to the authorities in Bahrain, it arrested one of the 4 journalists because he/she was taking part in attacks that were being made on police by the public.

According to the police of the country these journalists entered the country after providing wrong information at the borders. Furthermore, they had not obtained proper license for doing media coverage in the region. They came in the country as tourists and they should have remained tourists but they were doing media coverage. It is know that for media people to enter Bahrain they have to get a special visa that is specifically for the media people coming to do media coverage. These journalists did not come on this visa and rather entered the country as tourists according the authorities from Bahrain police.

A statement came from the interior ministry and according to this statement one of the journalists was even taking part in the attacks. This journalist was wearing a mask and attacking the police with the public according to the interior ministry. The name of the journalist has been confirmed by Reporters Without Borders. The journalist is Anna Day and the other people caught with her are her cameramen. The group has also requested the Bahrain government to take action on the matter and let Anna Day and her three crew members go as soon as possible.

US Embassy in Manama is not going to comment on the matter yet in order to keep privacy. However, it is fully aware of the situation and arrests of the journalists. The names of the journalists have not been provided by Bahrain Police. However, they have told media that there are 4 journalists in their arrest and one of the four is a woman. Words have come from Anna Day’s family and they are fully opposing the claims made by Bahrain Police that the journalists were involved in any kind of activity that was illegal or harmful for the Bahrain government or police.

The local news channels have also broadcasted the current situation of the journalists and said that the journalists are being kept with their full legal rights. These reporters were arrested from the island where the protestors and rioters were commemorating the uprisings of 2011. The uprisings that took place in 2011 were one of the biggest in Arab history but were cracked down by the government through the help from Saudi Arabia and other neighboring countries. Further talks about the arrested journalists are still underway whereas the Bahraini police is investigating the matters as journalists are being held.

The uprising in 2011 was caused by the Shia population in the country that claims that it has not been given full legal and political rights in the country for decades because the ruler in the country is of Sunni descent. These uprisings were pressed down when Saudi Arabia helped in strikes on the protestors putting the protests to an end. However, small protests and gatherings have been taking place in Bahrain since then. Some are peaceful but in some of the protests the protesters are violent and cause unrest in the region. Such conflicts have been a great attraction for media persons from around the world.

Reporters Without Borders has been actively talking about the arrested journalists and Anna Day in particular. According to the group Anna Day along with her crew is a very experienced journalist who knows what she has to do. They have recently completed documentaries on Gaza and Egypt and they were not involved in any unwanted situations while covering the matters in those countries. However, the police from Bahrain say that the country requires a special visa for doing media coverage in the country and the four arrested people had not followed the procedures before doing journalism in the region. 

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