…and I thought democracy means constructive criticism?

11 Jun, '03

The Bahraini press is threatening national unity and abusing the democratic system, the Minister of Information was quoted as saying yesterday.

Nabeel Al Hamer was quoted during a meeting with newspaper editors as saying the government will not tolerate those in the press who are trying to “sabotage” the democratic reforms.

“We will not, under any pretext, tolerate those abusing the democracy now available in the kingdom in order to sabotage the democratic achievements,” he told them.

Gulf News | By Mohammed Almezel | 10-06-2003

and this comes from a journalist! The minister was the managing editor of Al-Ayam newspaper for a very long time. It’s heartening to find his views have changed somewhat since he became the minister of information.

So what the hell is happening here then? This “outburst” was due to a couple of articles in the papers that I think constructively criticised the government. And isn’t constructive criticism the basis of democratic life? So what should we do now? Just turn a blind eye to everything that might be deemed “offensive” or against the government?

gimme a break.. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, either be democratic or let’s just go back to where we were before ’99. At least then everyone knew what the rules were and where the red-line was. Democracy as far as I understand it doesn’t have any red-lines. If the law on the other hand did set a red-line that no one is allowed to cross, let the (competent) courts handle that through laws, but don’t just keep shifting the line here and there at a whim.

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  1. mahmood says:

    repercussions gathering pace against the Information Minister

    Six political organizations in Bahrain considered statements published by local papers on Monday by the minister of information Nabil Yaqoub al-Homer about the freedom of the press as “painful attack for public freedoms” in the country. The organization called on the minister to reconsider his statements.

    In a statement issued on Wednesday ( yesterday), these organizations said the statements of the minister came to remind of the phase of the state security law and the attempt to return back to “square number one,” the era of political unrest and confiscation of public freedom, especially the freedom of publication and expression.”

    ArabicNews.com

    note: information ministor’s correct name is spelt: Nabil Al-Hamar

    [Modified by: Mahmood Al-Yousif (mahmood) on June 12, 2003 01:20 PM]

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