May 3rd of every year coincides with the World Press Freedom day, today is the 18th occurrence of this celebration. On this occasion, I wish to recognise hardworking journalists everywhere and pay them the respect that a lot of them deserve. I would also like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those brave journalists who paid with their very lives to get us the stories we read in our newspapers.

Bahrain has a long way to go before we can be considered to have free press; though the situation is infinitely better than it was even 10 years ago, there are still some things which must be done to remove the restrictions that this very noble profession suffers from.

The king has always been for more press freedoms and today’s reports solidify his position. He recognises that in the press is a good partner for progress and promises that more restrictions will be removed by the formation of modern laws which prohibit the imprisonment of journalists for their published articles and opinions. It is hoped then that our parliament will enact his majesty’s wishes promptly and adopts a law which encompasses his vision.

I wish to also congratulate the Bahrain Journalists Association for adopting a very worthwhile cause to celebrate this day; they have launched a code of ethics emphacising their opposition to inflaming sectarian hatred and invited all journalists in Bahrain to affirm that goal by participating in it by signing on the code of ethics document in their society’s headquarters in Juffair today.