Another benchmark goes south

1 Nov, '04

RSF published their annual report again, and unfortunately Bahrain’s ranking on press freedom dropped yet again.

And it’s a downward spiral at a rate of knots:

  • 2002: raked 67
  • 2003: ranked 117
  • 2004: ranked 143!
  • Why? Was it that the people polled to rank Bahrain are increasingly pessimistic on the outlook of press freedoms in Bahrain? Where they much more optimistic in 2002 and now they have completely given up? As far as I know there were no changes over the past three years as far as laws are concerned.

    A law that would really liberalise the media and increase press freedoms proposed by Ibrahim Bashmi of the Shura Council is still stagnating in the government waiting for approval but probably won’t see the light of day any time soon.

    The elected councilors on the other hand are falling over each other trying to bring out more restrictive laws, be those laws about personal freedoms, the right to demonstrate and congregate, the abolition of political parties or the introduction of shari’a laws.

    This is the second index this year that has clobbered us. First it was the lower ranking given by Transparency International on the Corruption Index, and now this.

    How far are we to descend before we all just give up? How long do we have to hang our heads in shame? How long do we continue to just talk about freedoms and transparency rather than do? How long will these proposed laws fester before they get enacted to release the media and press industries to do their jobs in constructive criticism?

    Or is that the plan?

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    1. medo_185 says:

      Another benchmark goes south

      According to the RSF Annual Report its the government’s inability to stand up to growing demands by religious groups that is putting limits on press freedom. When will they learn that if you start giving in to these groups it will only rebound on the Kingdom’s image – as its done yet again here.

      RSF Annual Report 2004 Bahrain- http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=9980

    2. anonymous says:

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      RSF published their annual report again, and unfortunately Bahrain’s ranking on press freedom dropped yet again. And it’s a downward spiral at a rate of knots: 2002: raked 67 2003: ranked 117 2004: ranked 167! Why? Was it that…

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