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Editors quit to save Bahraini newspaper from ban

Newspapers with headlines reporting Bahrain has suspended opposition newspaper Al-Wasat are seen in a local coffee shop in Manama April 3, 2011. Bahrain suspended the Gulf Arab state's main opposition newspaper on Sunday, after accusing it of falsifying news about recent sectarian unrest and a government crackdown on protests.

Bahraini authorities lifted a ban on the main opposition newspaper Sunday after its three top editors resigned to save the paper from a campaign to muzzle anti-government media and crack down on the Shiite opposition in the Sunni-ruled Gulf nation. Al-Wasat, the country's most popular newspaper, did not appear Sunday after Bahrain's Information Ministry ordered it to close down. Al-Wasat's online edition was also blocked.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency accused the paper of "unethical" coverage of the uprising against the country's rulers. The agency reported later that the Information Ministry agreed to allow the newspaper to resume publishing on Monday after its editor-in-cheif and two other top editors stepped down.

The details: [Link]

Editor-in-Chief Mansoor al-Jamri told the Associated Press that he resigned from his position because he did not want to jeopardize the newspaper's future and the livelihoods of its employees. "I did not want others to suffer because there's a witch hunt against me," al-Jamri said.

Bahrain has sharply tightened Internet and media controls under the military rule imposed last month after weeks of protests and clashes by groups seeking to break the monarchy's grip on power in the strategic Gulf nation, which is home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet. "This is an attempt to silence independent news in Bahrain," said al-Jamri, who is also one of Al-Wasat's main shareholders.

Bahrain's king declared emergency rule last month and cracked down on protests by the country's Shiite majority for more rights and freedom against a Sunni dynasty that has ruled Bahrain for two centuries.

About 1,500 troops from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Sunni-led Gulf states entered Bahrain at the government's invitation to help quell the rebellion and deepening the kingdom's sectarian divide. The unprecedented political unrest in the tiny nation of 700,000 has also inflamed tensions between the peninsula's Sunni heavyweight, Saudi Arabia, and neighbouring Iran, a Shiite theocracy.

Date posted: April 5, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 76