Bahraini regime arrests photographer for photography

This video from Bahrain says about itself:

Bahrain: Silence Kills Democracy – #FreePhotographer

1 Nov 2013

West of the capital Manama in Bahrain 1 November 2013.

Organized by a group of activists and photographers in Bahrain. A peaceful protest in solidarity with the photographers and journalists detained because of their political or media activity in photographing demonstrations, marches and documenting the crimes of Bahrain regime.

The criminal regime in Bahrain arrested photographers because they expose their crimes.

Because of their cameras (Matooq – Humaidan – HuBail – Qassim – Al-Jurdabi and others) they were arrested, In Bahrain, they have been kidnapped & arrested because of their cameras!

Silence Kills Democracy – I’m a photographer not a terrorist!

On Twitter visit this: #Photographer #FreeBhPress #FreeJurdabi #FreeMatooq #FreeHumaidan #FreeHubail #SaveHubail #freeahmedhumaidan #freebhjournalist #freephotographer

From the Committee to Protect Journalists:

Bahrain arrests photographer Ahmed Al-Fardan

New York, December 27, 2013–Ahmed Al-Fardan, photographer for the NurPhoto agency, was arrested Thursday at his home in Bahrain, according to his agency, news reports, and human rights groups. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest.

Al-Fardan’s father, Jaber, told local independent daily Al-Wasat that Bahraini security officers stormed their house in the early hours of Thursday morning while they were asleep, handcuffed his son, and took him to an unknown location. Jaber later received a short call from Ahmed, who said he was fine but did not give any details of his whereabouts, according to the report.

Bahraini authorities didn’t disclose any charges against Al-Fardan, according Mohammed Al-Maskati, president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights.

Al-Fardan’s photos of unrest in Bahrain have appeared in international news outlets and been recognized by human rights groups. Recently, one of his photos won second place in IFEX‘s international contest to expose impunity as part of the International Day to End Impunity on November 23, 2013.

Al-Fardan is also known for advocating for his fellow photographers. In his last tweet, on Monday, he called for the release of Ahmed Humaidan, another Bahraini photojournalist who has been imprisoned for a year because of his work in documenting protests against Bahraini authorities. Al-Fardan also participated in a demonstration this month calling for Humaidan‘s release.

“We call on Bahraini authorities to immediately release Ahmed Al-Fardan,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour. “Despite paying lip service to the importance of the press, the government continues to try to suppress any information that does not conform to its official narrative.”

Al-Maskati of Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights told CPJ that this is not the first time Al-Fardan has been targeted because of his work. He was kidnapped in August by men in plain clothes who he suspected of being security forces. They beat and threatened him because of his work covering protests and defending imprisoned photojournalists, according to Al-Maskati.

In its annual census of journalists in prison worldwide, CPJ found three journalists behind bars in Bahrain, including two photographers, Humaidan and Hussein Hubail, who was arrested at the Bahrain International Airport in August 2013 and held incommunicado for six days before being transferred to prison.

  • For more data and analysis, visit CPJ’s Bahrain page here.

Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of Ahmed Al-Fardan, an award-winning photojournalist who has been held without charge for the past week: here.

Bahrain: After Torturing and Defaming him, Ali Al-Haji Faces an Unjust Trial with the Charge of Carrying Out Terrorist Acts in the American Service Center: here.

Bahrain: Insulting the King Means Jail: here.

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was full of tough talk when he visited the island kingdom of Bahrain in early December. The United States, he vowed, will continue to guard “the free flow of energy and commerce” from the Persian Gulf and keep Iran nuclear-free, through the presence of 35,000 US military personnel or the (as yet unproven) regional missile defense system: here.

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19 thoughts on “Bahraini regime arrests photographer for photography

      • There is a bit of a problem here in Texas with an extremely vague statute on “improper photography”. The highest court in the state had to issue a ruling that taking pictures in a public park at a swimming pool where children were present was not evidence of crime in itself that would justify detaining the photographer and seizing his camera.


  1. Press freedom groups call for release of Bahraini photographer

    Press freedom organisations are calling for the release of award-winning photojournalist Ahmed Al-Fardan, who has been held without charge in Bahrain since 26 December.

    Fardan, who works for the Nurphoto, Demotex and Sipa photo agencies, was reportedly beaten when arrested at his home in the early hours.

    He has been denied visits by his lawyer and family, but he has twice been allowed to phone them.

    Sherif Mansour of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said: “We call on Bahraini authorities to immediately release Ahmed Al-Fardan. Despite paying lip service to the importance of the press, the government continues to try to suppress any information that does not conform to its official narrative.”

    And the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders issued a statement condemning Fardan’s “arbitrary arrest”. It demanded his immediate and unconditional release.

    Fardan was previously arrested in August last year. At that time he was beaten and threatened with being killed if he did not cooperate by providing photos of anti-government demonstrators.

    Fardan has also campaigned for the release of his friend and fellow photographer Ahmed Humaidan, who has been held since December 2012 on a charge of attacking a police station, even though he was not there at the time.

    Sources: CPJ/Reporters Without Borders


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