Demands for change are gathering apace

4 May, '07

The weather was hot, the temperature was certainly over 40 degrees Celsius and the humidity wasn’t forgiving and neither was the sun, but the intelligentsia or Bahrain gathered yesterday in front of the Parliament building to demonstrate in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day, in solidarity with Isa Al-Shayji who is demanding that MP Mohammed Khaled’s parliamentary immunity be lifted in order for him to stand trial accused of publicly insulting him and of course to show the community’s refusal of that heinous Press and Publications Law of 2002 in which journalists could be (and have) summarily imprisoned for simply practicing the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression and demanded that that law be withdrawn, amended or replaced.

World Press Freedom Day demonstration in Bahrain

The number of people present were a cross section of society but all of whom share a basic understanding that they support the basic human right of the freedom to express oneself without fear of persecution.

In spite of the heat and humidity, the general atmosphere was happily cautious; yet generally hopeless that we could look to an the impotent parliament to our backs of doing anything germane to help in raising the bar and allowing this great society to elevate itself to a status equal to those it admires for freedoms others take for granted.

Even though the general average age of those gathered was certainly in the twenties, all were aware of these facts and everyone’s hope was tempered; optimism does not come cheap in these circles, all have suffered directly, or know someone who has, a judge’s gavel which shattered the even tenuous illusion of freedom gained.

Greetings done, hands shaken, smiles exchanged and the general somewhat expectant gaiety was not even shattered by the arrival of a jovial officer soon after the first few members gathered at the announced time. Half an hour or so later our numbers were bolstered with a few more individuals each of which carries the weight of whole cross-sections of society: Qassim Haddad, Ebrahim Sharif, Hassan Madan and a plethora of human rights activists lending their much needed support.

90 minutes or so after the initial gathering final communiqués were read, placards were stowed and streams of these guardians of the freedoms of expression started to drift away, hopefully to continue to exert and sustain pressure on parliament and government to force infusion blood into flaccid brains to get them to realise that if left alone, the press can and will be the ideal and unwavering partner for progress they sorely need.

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  1. Global Voices Online » Bahrain: Freedom of Press Protest | 4 May, '07
  1. Malek says:

    :whistle:
    Hi
    Mohmood nice to see you (maaaba’3ana neshofek) … I have one question I sow you there using your phone camera for capturing the protest …. Is that really your phone camera you use for your entire picture in the Site??? Coz it look Sooo nice :angel:

    BTW you don’t know me ….

  2. mahmood says:

    Hi Malek, some are taken with my cameraphone, if you “get properties” or “more details” in Flickr you will be able to see exactly which camera I used for a particular shot.

    I am pretty happy with the K800i simply because the camera actually has much better resolution than even the second digital camera I bought!

  3. لقد شاركت شبكة بحرين المستقبل في هذه التظاهرة الصحافية

    أيضا و هذه بعض الصور:
    المدون محمود اليوسف و حديث مع أحد الصحفيين
    http://www.bhfuture.org/img/WORLD%20PRESS%20DAY%20DEMONSTRATION%20%203-5-2007/12.jpg

    http://www.bhfuture.org/img/WORLD%20PRESS%20DAY%20DEMONSTRATION%20%203-5-2007/15.jpg

  4. mahmood says:

    Thanks very much for the pictures and links.

  5. Rancher says:

    Fight the good fight my friend but stay safe. Bloggers are now confronting the awakening of the tyrant’s awareness of the power of the bloggers and the information flow from the net. As their power is eroded by the net they will of course try their damned best to stifle the net. I don’t know enough of the technical side of this but those hackers or crackers who routinely bypass our net security and have their counterparts in Al Qaeda, are there no patriotic hackers that can be enlisted to fight back, close the Islamo Fascist web sights that record beheadings, recruit more beheaders, and such?

  6. Rancher says:

    Keep up the good fight my friend.

  7. Moclippa says:

    Islamo-fascist… I honestly can’t get enough of that word.

    As for this issue, I don’t know enough about it, the persons involved (though I have doctored photos of him in the past to privately laugh at), what he’s done, or the laws protecting him, to make an informed comment.

  8. Moclippa says:

    And why the F is Rancher ranting about Patriotic hackers and Islamo-Fascists in the first place… what the hell does a patriotic hacker have to do with this Bahraini website, or press freedom laws? What are they patriotic towards exactly? Because I’m sure many, if not all, perpetrators of beheadings would call themselves Patriots as well.

    Rancher, lay off the booze, stop listening to Talk Radio a’la Limbaugh as you’re only source of daily information, rethink you’re definitions of terms and how and where you throw them around… and for god (check Flying Spaghetti Monster) sakes man, Stay on the [explicative deleted]-ing point!

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