19 thoughts on “Bahrain dictatorship bans Guy Fawkes masks

  1. Dubai officials block Bahrain-based AP journalist

    Associated Press – 16 hrs ago

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Two Bahrain-based journalists, including a reporter for The Associated Press, were blocked from entering the United Arab Emirates on Monday under apparent new restrictions by Gulf Arab states.

    Reem Khalifa and her husband, Mansoor al-Jamri, chief editor for Bahrain’s independent Al Wasat newspaper, said they were told by authorities at Dubai International Airport that they were on a list to deny entry.

    No further explanations were immediately given, but it appears part of tighter coordination between Gulf allies to control and monitor journalists, activists and others in the region.

    Like all Gulf partners, the UAE has expanded crackdowns on perceived political dissent since the Arab Spring, including charging 94 people last month with conspiring to overthrow the ruling system. But it still remains among the most open countries in the Gulf for journalists, researchers and scholars.

    Bahrain’s 2-year-old uprising is a critical issue for Gulf leaders, who want to safeguard the ruling families across the region.

    Khalifa and her husband — on a private visit to Dubai — closely cover Bahrain’s struggles between majority Shiites and the Sunni rulers in the strategic kingdom, which is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

    Khalifa had visited Dubai last year without incident. Al-Jamri was among the winners in 2011 of the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

    A senior UAE official said airport immigration issues fall under Dubai police, which had no immediate comment. Bahrainis and other citizens from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council — as well as many Western passport holders — can enter the UAE without a pre-arranged visa.

    Bahrain, however, has imposed a special journalist visa that has sharply limited outside media access to the country.

    Last week, the UAE also denied entry to a prominent academic from the London School of Economics who was scheduled to speak about Bahrain at a conference on the Arab Spring.

    The UAE’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that Kristian Coates Ulrichsen was not allowed into the country because his work has been critical of Bahrain’s monarchy, which is closely backed by other Gulf leaders. The UAE said “non-constructive” views on Bahrain are unwelcome.

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  3. Bahrain court jails woman activist for three months: agency

    Reuters – Fri, Mar 1, 2013

    ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Bahraini rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja has been sentenced to three months in jail for insulting a public employee after an appeal court overturned her earlier acquittal, Bahrain’s state news agency said on Friday.

    The kingdom, base for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has been in political turmoil since protests erupted there in 2011, led by majority Shi’ite Muslims demanding an end to the Sunni monarchy’s political domination and full powers for parliament.

    Khawaja is the daughter of prominent Shi’ite Muslim human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja who was a leading figure in the 2011 uprising and who is now serving a life sentence.

    “The Court of Appeal has today overturned an initial verdict acquitting Zainab al-Khawaja and sentenced her to three months in jail,” BNA said, citing Amina Isa, a chief prosecutor.

    Bahrain’s public prosecutor had charged Khawaja with “insulting a public employee while on duty”, BNA said.

    The appeals court has previously sentenced Khawaja to one one-month and one two-month jail term in two other cases for entering a prohibited military zone and damaging state-owned property, the state news agency said.

    The government says 35 people died during the unrest in 2011 and two months of martial law that followed, although the opposition puts the toll at more than 80.

    This month violence has surged as protesters marked the second anniversary of the uprising on February 14. One protester and a policeman died in clashes between crowds and security forces.

    According to the opposition, a second protester died last week. The government said at the time it was investigating and that there was no evidence police were involved.

    The violence has clouded the atmosphere around talks begun on February 10 between the mostly Shi’ite opposition and the Sunni Muslim-dominated government to find a way out of the impasse over Shi’ite demands for more democracy.

    (Reporting by Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

    See also

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21628074

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