International Federation (IFJ) has today welcomed the decision to lift the ban
on the Arabic version of the Gulf News newspaper after the authorities stopped its publication on
Sunday 21 June 2009.
welcome the lifting of the ban which was a serious violation of press freedom,"
said Paco Audije, IFJ Deputy General
Secretary. "It is not for governments to tell newspapers what to publish and
this type of vindictive reaction to media work is unacceptable."
to media reports, the decision to ban the publication of the Gulf News Arabic version followed an
article in its Saturday paper which criticised the Iranian
leadership for their reaction to massive demonstrations triggered by the
disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad.
Bahrain Journalists' Association
(BJA), an IFJ affiliate, condemned the decision to stop the Sunday publication.
It also accused the Ministry of Information of breaching the press law in Bahrain
by issuing the ban itself without first seeking approval of a judge as required
by the law.
colleagues showed leadership by resisting the decision and we commend them,"
added Audije. "Media in Bahrain
have recently committed themselves to improving their professional and
independent reporting through the launch of the national Ethical Journalism
Initiative Committee in Bahrain. The EJI
committee was established to lead national debates on improving the quality of
journalism in the country."
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The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide