Bahrain regime detains United States journalist


From Mediaite in the USA:

NYT‘s Nicholas Kristof Detained At Bahrain Airport, Live-Tweets It

by Josh Feldman | 7:59 pm, December 17th, 2012

New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof flew into Bahrain today to do a report on government repression, but he was denied entry into the country and detained at the airport for a few hours. Kristof went on Twitter to complain about his detainment by going after the country’s human rights abuses and pointing out that reality show star Kim Kardashian was allowed passage into the country mere weeks ago. Kristof at one point suggested creating a Kardashian-style sex tape to gain entry to Bahrain.

RELATED: Report: CBS Radio Reporter Shot At In Bahrain

After arriving at the airport in Bahrain, Kristof was detained and tweeted out the following message:

Kristof Bahrain tweet

Kristof explained that Bahraini officials informed him he was on a government blacklist that prevented him from entering the country. He said the government isn’t letting him in the country because they do not want “witnesses to its nightly repression in Shia villages.”

But Kristof kept his little plight in perspective, pointing out in a number of tweets that Bahraini citizens are subject to worse punishments than getting held up at the airport. At one point, he remarked that people are “feeling way too sorry for me,” since he’s not being arrested or anything, he’s just stuck at the airport and tweeting from a Starbucks.

Kristof found it amusing that he was denied access to the country while Kim Kardashian was welcomed into Bahrain, tweeting this tongue-in-cheek message to his followers:

Kristof Bahraini tweet

And a few minutes ago, Kristof tweeted that he’s on the plane to be deported out of the country, apologizing for not being able to do his intended report on human rights abuses in Bahrain.

See also here.

Bahrain Feature: The Story of Taqi Abdulla, a US Citizen Detained by the Regime: here.

Protesters Arrested after Rocky Weekend in Bahrain: here. And here.

Bahrain: Child held without charge in adult prison: here.

Meanwhile, United States extreme Rightist Pamela Geller declares her support for the Bahraini dictatorship. No, I am not going to link to her site, which also considers French anti-Semite Brigitte Bardot to be an ally of its Islamophobia. Ms Geller depicts any United States secular Muslim who goes to a mosque once a year as a terrible terrorist danger. But she does not mind the Bahraini royal torturing dictatorship; propped up against its own people by the army of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the main source of really extreme Islam in the world. And propped up in its puppet parliament by salafists, the Sunni sectarian fifth column of the Saudi royals.

16 thoughts on “Bahrain regime detains United States journalist

  1. Bahrain extends detention of rights campaigner held in rally

    9:27 a.m. CST, December 18, 2012

    DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahrain has extended by seven days the detention of a leading human rights activist who was arrested on Monday during a demonstration in the Gulf Arab island kingdom, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

    Sayed Yousif al-Muhafda, from the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was being investigated on charges of spreading false news on Twitter after he was arrested by police during a march in the capital Manama, Mohammed al-Jishi said.

    All rallies and gatherings are banned in Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and which has been in turmoil since pro-democracy protests led by its Shi’ite Muslim majority erupted last year.

    Jishi told Reuters that Muhafda had not taken part in the demonstration. “He was there only as an observer,” he said.

    Muhafda was detained last month for a week on charges of taking part in an illegal gathering and an unauthorized march.

    On Monday, police fired stun grenades to break up dozens of protesters and arrested about 25 people, including Muhafda, during rallies in the centre of Manama.

    The Interior Ministry said on Twitter late on Monday that “police confronted illegal rallies and rioting in Manama and arrested a number of lawbreakers”. It gave no further details.

    Bahrain has stepped up efforts to end the unrest in recent months and several activists have been arrested or jailed for organizing or taking part in unlicensed protests.

    The government also detained four men in October on charges of defaming the king on Twitter.

    Earlier this month, Bahrain’s opposition groups welcomed a call by the Crown Prince for dialogue. But meetings have not started and the unrest has continued.

    On Sunday, Information Minister Samira Ibrahim bin Rajab criticized the opposition for “misusing” the call for dialogue, state news agency BNA reported.

    BNA quoted Rajab as telling al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that dialogue would start once “the opposition stops violence and relinquishes conditions” to engage in that dialogue.

    The opposition had said they were prepared to meet without any pre-conditions, but called for the results of talks to be put to a referendum.

    Wefaq, the leading opposition group in Bahrain, said in a statement on Sunday that “Bahrain suffers the toughest political crisis in its modern history.”

    “The opposition societies demanded the regime to respond to the calls from the international community to immediately start a fruitful and serious dialogue that can achieve the democratic transition and realize the people’s aspirations,” Wefaq said.

    Bahrain’s ruling Al-Khalifa family, who are Sunni Muslims, used martial law and help from Gulf neighbors to put down last year’s uprising, but unrest has resumed.

    The opposition says little progress has been made towards its demands for reforms including a parliament with full powers to legislate and form governments. Many Shi’ites complain of political and economic marginalization, a charge Bahrain denies.

    (Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Louise Ireland)

    Copyright © 2012, Reuters

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