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IFJ calls for solidarity to curb blacklisting of journalists in Bahrain

An anti-government protester wave a flower and gestures as another protestor waves a Bahrain flag, outside the gates of Gudaibiya Palace in Manama, Bahrain, Sunday, March 6, 2011, where the office of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa is located.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on journalists in Bahrain to put their unity above political wrangling that has divided journalists in the wake of protests movement for political changes in the kingdom. The Federation's call comes after revelations that some journalists have been blacklisted over their alleged links with the ruling royal family.

"We urge journalists to avoid targeting each other and to stick to their ethical principles of journalistic independence," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Blacklisting of professional journalists and editors as part of a process of settling political scores is just unacceptable."

IFJ says that a list has been published in Bahrain, called the ‘ List of Shame' and naming some journalists who are accused of being on the payroll of the ruler of Bahrain. This list includes a board member of the Bahrain Journalist Association (BJA), an IFJ affiliate, which has denounced the publication of the list saying it is undermining the unity among the journalists' community.

IFJ warned that attempts to create divisions among journalists will roll back the progress which has been spearheaded by IFJ and BAJ to promote professionalism in media. IFJ launched its Ethical Journalism Initiative campaign in the Middle East and the Arab World in Bahrain in 2009, in collaboration with BAJ. The Federation says journalists' unity is needed to promote their rights as part of the reforms demanded by the public during the recent protests.

"A free press is key to building democracy and must be part of the political reforms in Bahrain," added White. "But journalists can only defend their interests if they are united, and not attacking each other. They must resolve their differences in the spirit of solidarity and mutual respect."

Date posted: March 6, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 160