the damsel is sulking

November 24th, 2004|

All together now: ooooohhhhhhh, you pooour pooour baabieee. did Abdulnabi Salman and other MPs who uncharacteristicly stood up for the freedom of the press hurt your pooour pooour feelings? tut tut tut. Never mind, come here and get a cuddle. You can now go back into the chamber and carry on with the session.


You stupid, in-bred, moronic excuse for a HUMAN BEING, how the bloody hell did you get to sit in the chair, and represent ME, in MY name, you silly excuse for a Hitlerite dictator. You simple minded amoeba.

Who the fuck are YOU to demand that an accredited journalist be thrown out of parliament? Do you think that WE, the people, have NO right to know what is going on in that whorehouse you call an assembly?

And based on what? These other fucks, the moronic, uncivilised, sectarian pigs of Al-Menbar Islamic Society who count between their members the ultimate hog Mohammed Khalid, the Shi’a-hater, objected to a reporter who did her job by reporting what they said in one of their sessions against the Shi’a. Even if she mis-represented what was said, or completely slandered these jerks, wouldn’t you think that being the protectors of the constitution they would use the judicial system to sort the matter out?

No of course not. Why should they? They take the cue from the parliament’s CHAIRMAN who on several occasions demonstrated just how GOOD he is at protecting human rights, personal freedoms and the freedom of the press. After all, wasn’t he the same person who suggested that the police should use bulldozers and forcibly remove the protesters in a car cavalcade who were supporting a prisoner of conscience?

Another benchmark goes south

November 1st, 2004|

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?

    2004 Corruption Index by Transparency International

    October 21st, 2004|

    Here are the results for the GCC:

    Rank – Country – Rating – Trend
    29 – Oman – 6.1 – up from last year
    29 – UAE – 6.1 – up from last year
    34 – Bahrain – 5.8 – down from last year
    38 – Qatar – 5.2 – down from last year
    44 – Kuwait – 4.6 – down from last year
    71 – Saudi Arabia – 3.4 – down from last year

    I guess the passing mark is 5.0, so we’ve just scraped by along with Qatar, while Kuwait and Saudi have a hell of a struggle on their hands.

    That doesn’t mean that I or you should be proud of the rediculous rankings of the UAE and Oman. They too have a very long way to go.

    The whole area is awash with oil, but lack democracy and transparency to counter the effects of the culture of bribes.

    Read the report here.

    Hurraay! The Ministry of (dis)Information is to be disbanded!

    August 26th, 2004|

    This just in from the GDN quoting Akhbar Al-Khaleej that the Ministry of Information will be immediately disbanded and a part of history! At last someone listened, this corrupt, bankrupt, stifling government organ and brown-noser is no longer! I am SO happy for Bahrain that they should make today, August 26th a national holiday for ever!

    Information Ministry to be axed

    MANAMA: The Information Ministry is to be abolished and its responsibilities handed over to newly-created commissions for tourism, radio and television and culture and national heritage, it was revealed last night.

    The first new body, the Tourism Commission, will come into being on September 1, informed sources told our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej.

    Members of this organisation will be drawn mainly from the private sector and it will be chaired by a hotel company official. The existing tourism directorate will be abolished.

    The second new commission will be formed in October or November to oversee culture and national heritage.

    The sources said the Information Ministry would be dissolved at the beginning of next year. There was also a possibility that the Directorate of Printing would be affiliated to the new Culture and National Heritage Commission.

    The sources added that it was likely the new Bahrain Radio and Television Commission would be set up at the beginning of next year as an independent commission. None of the commissions will be attached to a ministry.


    Corruption Perception Index 2003.. we’ve got a ways to go still

    May 25th, 2004|

    According to the CPI, Finland was ranked as the country that has the least corrupt civil service and was given a score of 9.7 out of a perfect score of 10. Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland were close behind. Bangladesh and Nigeria, in contrast, were found to have the highest level of corruption among the 91 countries on the list. Among the Arab countries Oman ranked highest with a score of 6.3, just below Israel at 7, followed by Bahrain (6.1), Qatar (5.6), Kuwait (5.3), UAE (5.2), Tunisia (4.9) and Jordan (4.6). Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Algeria, Yemen and Libya followed in that order scoring below the average for the Arab countries of 3.9 out of 10.

    Daily Star :: Corruption is a serious obstacle to development in the region
    Supporting data & report: Internet Center for Corruption Research sponsored by Transaprency International

    Israel: 7
    Oman: 6.3
    Bahrain: 6.1
    Qatar: 5.6
    Kuwait: 5.3
    UAE: 5.2
    Tunisia: 4.9
    Jordan: 4.6
    Saudi Arabia: 4.5
    Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Algeria, Yemen and Libya < 3.9

    Fascinating. Bahrain scored better than the rest of the Gulf except for Oman, yet investors are turning away. why is that? And what are the recommendations for us to be even better in the future?

    The recommendations don’t need an Einstein to discover:

    (1) free media unhindered by government interference. The media has a major role in exposing corruption wherever it may be.
    (2) The freedom to organise civil bodies like unions, political parties, and economic and cultural societies.

    We’ve failed in both. The press is encumbered by archaic laws and regulations, and the civil societies like the Human Rights organisations are being labeled unpatriotic and classified as meddlesome thus threatened by closure and expulsion.

    The King has demonstrated his determination to keep his reform packages going and growing. He should now concentrate on repealing at least the archaic press laws and sponsor a true national reconciliation effort and dialogue to get us out of the political quick-sand we’re in.

    For the press laws, we should learn from the developed world, while for reconciliation we should emulate the South African experience.

    Come on, let’s get on with it before it’s too late.