The International Federation
of Journalists (IFJ) today joined its affiliate in Bahrain, the Bahrain
association of Journalists (BJA) in condemning the savage beating and inhuman
treatment of reporter Nazeeha Saeed who was arrested on 22 May over the story
she had filed about the repression of anti-government protesters.
The female reporter,
who was covering the uprising for France24 and Radio Monte Carlo in the of
Douar el loulou area , suffered severe injuries at the Rafa police station where she was badly
beaten by her interrogators. She also bore torture marks, according to the reports.
"We are appalled by this senseless and cruel treatment of a working
journalist and we urge the Bahraini authorities to hold accountable the
officers involved," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "The brutal behaviour of
security forces towards Saeed shows there is no end to media repression in
Bahrain and the world must make it clear that these gross violations of
peaceful protesters', women's and journalists' rights will not go unpunished."
Media reports say that Saeed was summoned to the Rafa police for
questioning over her report on the death of Ali Abdelhassan who was allegedly
killed by security forces during the anti-government protests of 17 February
2011. She was detained for 12 hours during which she reportedly was savagely
beaten up and tortured. After her release, the French consulate arranged for
the journalist to receive medical treatment in France due to the gravity of her
The BJA has also
called for a full investigation into the allegations of torture
and requested from the authorities a copy of
the complaint made by the reporter, stressing the need for transparency and
independence in the investigation in this case.
The IFJ has accused
the Bahraini government of widespread
intimidation and systematic harassment against journalists which have
already led to the arrests and sackings of at least 68 media personnel in the
country since the start of the protests for political reforms.
The Federation is taking part in a protest visit to the embassy of
Bahrain in Brussels today. The protest, jointly organised by the IFJ, the
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Education International (EI)
and the Belgian trade unions ACV/CSV, ABCC/FGTB and ACLVB/CGSLB. The organisers will deliver a letter calling ,among
other measures, for the immediate release of all detained trade unionists,
teachers, journalists and workers as well an end to all harassment against trade
unions leaders and activists and respect for press freedom.
For more information, please contact IFJ
on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than
600.000 journalists in 131 countries