Unfortunately the mediation between the minister of municipalities and agriculture and myself to resolve the dispute and perceived libel has not been successful. I have demonstrated my good will over the last few days by amending the original article, but that it seems is not enough for the right honourable gentleman.
The minister wants to pursue his legal right and extract his pound of flesh.
I re-iterate that I do not believe what I published was libelous in any way. The intention was never to besmirch his person, but rather I was criticising his ministry, an executive body which not only should accept criticism, but also welcome and encourage it with open arms.
He now wants to take me to court. So be it.
I enjoy the support of a large body of people and also have a lot of human rights and freedom of expression lawyers and advocates standing by me to offer real and direct support in defending this case.
I didn’t want this as I still feel that it is a frivolous case at best, which now will probably turn into a benchmark that will further sully Bahrain’s reputation internationally. You can be sure that this case will now be included in all the press indicies for 2007 as a black spot against this country, thanks to a minister who cannot take criticism.
A press release from the Bahrain Journalists Association will follow shortly. Again, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who stood and will continue to stand by me at this time.
I have restored the article to its former and original glory.