Not again!

24 Nov, '05

Can anyone guess what Bahrain’s press freedom index is going to be for 2006? No?

Well let’s look at the trend, so we can realistically predict the future:

2002 = 67
2003 = 117
2004 = 167
2005 = 123

Let’s also consider other factors that might assist us in this prediction; emoodz broke the story on Wednesday that a number of websites appeared to be blocked, this was later confirmed by Batelco, the only ISP on the island and referred us to the Ministry of Information. Of course, no one had any information at the Ministry of Information!

This morning, the GDN had an article that the block was far more widespread than we thought, the GDN reports FORTY sites blocked without even bothering to tell the webmasters why they were blocked in the first place. And typical of a Ministry of Information official, he blatantly told the reporter that he could only look into this issue when he “gets back to work on Saturday!” What cheek. I thought that people in that kind of powerful position at one of the (supposedly) most important ministries would immediately jump on the situation and get it fixed there and then, but no. The world has to stop until his excellency goes back to work after the weekend, clears his in-tray and then maybe, just maybe look into this “annoyance.” Let’s forget the fact that Bahrain’s reputation internationally will have once again been dragged in the mud.. let’s not screw up our weekend, which is much more important.

So what are the contents of some of these sites? They’re run of the mill village sites discussing their affairs and yes some do go into political debates which sometimes turn unsavory, but so what? Democracy isn’t peachy nor is it clean, and people have the right to say what they feel, it’s better than lobbing rocks at police cars isn’t it?

And why resort once again to such draconian methods as blocking sites? I suspect that the next step is to drag those 40 webmasters in front of the public prosecutor and throw them in prison for a few days so that they would behave themselves, right?

I’m just fed up of this rubbish, this continuous attempt at shutting people up, this continuous incitement to violence by the very government organ that is supposed to be used to spread the good democratic concepts and “inform” people of their rights and duties in a democratic society.

I suggest that we find out who the actual person who authorised this latest fiasco and publish his name in bold letters as the real enemy of the people. He is not alone in this for sure, but he certainly will have contributed to the reduction of our rank once again to something beyond 170 for the next report.

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Comments (6)

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  1. anonymous says:

    Not again!

    So sorry. Indeed Bahrain is getting a reputation as going backward on freedoms. It must be maddening. I don’t even know what to say.

    thinker

  2. anonymous says:

    Not again!

    Like you said, this is rubbish. The government talks a lot about supporting democracy and having peoples voices heard, yet it continuously acts to suppress all those who speak out with their concerns! It’s all very dirty politics, and I am sure that a lot of money, blackmails and threats exist behind the scenes. The sad truth is that no one could do jack about it.. We can talk all we want, but our bureaucratic governmental systems don’t and won’t ever give a damn! Moreover, those who come out and speak against such absurd and pointless actions taken by the Ministry of disInformation or any other governmental organization will face severe consequences. Way to Go Government, You guys sicken me!

    Ahmed

  3. [deleted]0.14243600 1099323648.862 says:

    Not again!

    Mahmood, I just said this on emoodz. I don’t know if it is only me, but all the sites mentioned at gemmed are NOT blocked for me (even sex. com). Of course you know I’m not using Batelco lines, I’m on MTC Vodafone 3G connection.

    I wonder if all these websites were open now?

  4. anonymous says:

    Not again!

    I agree with Ahmed, they’re great at talkin and even better at oppressing personal freedoms.

    I’ll be surprised if we do better than 123.

    Khalid

  5. anonymous says:

    Nyaaaargh

    I thought Bahrain was getting it sussed. We have mucho botheration with Etisalat and their dang proxy server here in Dubai, but you Bahrainis live in a ‘democracy’ – so you can theoretically do something about it. Yes? No? Get your local MP to sort it!

    – Keefieboy

  6. anonymous says:

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