Ministry of Agriculture & Municipalities threatens law suits

وفي الختام، فإن وزارة شئون البلديات والزراعة، وهي تعلن لجميع أبناء الوطن، تكذيبها ونفيها الكامل لكل ما أثير حول هذا الشأن من مزاعم، تؤكد التزامها بنهج الشفافية، والأبواب المفتوحة، وفي الوقت نفسه مسئوليتها عن اتخاذ جميع الإجراءات القانونية بحق كل من تسول له نفسه الإضرار بالمصلحة الوطنية ونشر الأخبار الجزافية التي من شأنها المساس بالأمن الوطني من دون تحر أو تدقيق أو إحساس بالمسئولية الوطنية.
أخبار الخليج – ١٥ مايو ٢٠٠٧

In a communiqué by the Ministry of Agricultural Affairs and Municipalities in response to what has been published yesterday regarding the purported sale of the Fasht Al-Jarem reef, the ministry not only denied the allegation completely and stated that the island of Fasht Al-Jarem is still owned by the government of Bahrain, but went much further than it should have by threatening all those who dare criticise or ask questions or show concern for our lands, islands, seas and the environment with law suits!

I am not certain – so I might be completely wrong in my assertion here – but did anyone notice the word “Justice” appended to the ministry in question? Or has the Ministry of Justice been now disbanded and enjoined to that of Agricultural Affairs and the Municipalities?

Why else would a ministry more concerned with the disappearing agricultural scene (other than the cosmetic one that is), city planning (supposedly, though I would strongly question the use of the word “planning” here), environmental cleaning (I would strongly question both premises here, its concern for the environment and for the act of cleaning our streets, villages, towns and cities are both sorely lacking) have with threatening the genuine interest of the people’s need for information with law suits?

Of course if the respected ministry and government had given the public clear access to information, these kind of “baseless” allegations would probably not happen.

But try as much as you could as a citizen to find out who owns what land in Bahrain or its environs and you would know how difficult it is to ascertain anything officially.

For instance, who owns this? Just out of interest, how would one go about ascertaining its ownership and the circumstances thereof?

Jiddah Island
click image to download Google Earth locator

or this:

Umm Al-Na’asaan Island
click image to download Google Earth locator

Of course all a Bahraini wants to know is what can he and his children can look forward to in 5 or 10 or 15 years. Will there be any land left for his children to continue to reside on these precious islands we call home? That’s why this major concern and it is a concern that worries every single Bahraini because we love this country and don’t want to dream that our children would have land and opportunities for them and their own children in the future, but we want to change that dream into reality.

What’s wrong with that?

Should we now stop being concerned because an illustrious ministry threatens us with law suits?

Well, I will not.

What the honourable government and our illustrious parliament should do is work together to produce and inculcate a Freedom of Information act immediately and make all non-national security issues freely and immediately available for us citizens.

It is our God-given right to know.


  1. Barry

    If they knew better, threatening a lawsuit against criticism only points the finger of blame stronger at them.

    Google’s translator did what seems a decent enough job translating the quote. Here’s what it says (You can tell me how close a quote that is)

    “(the ministry) affirms its commitment to transparency, open doors, At the same time taking responsibility for all legal proceedings against anyone wishing to harm the national interest and disseminating news random which could affect national security, without inquiry or scrutiny or a sense of national responsibility.”

    Wait, are they really trying to say that they are commited to transparency, but at the same time looking to shut peple up? I don’t understand how they put two and two together and came up with the idea that criticism is a danger to national security? What the hell? Maybe Google’s translator did a piss poor job and I just don’t get it.

    Here’s a clue Ministry: transparency means being open to not just how you operate, but to criticism and scrutiny. It means allowing people to see what you’re up to and to tell you if what you’re doing is wrong or not.

  2. Ingrid

    Good for you Mahmoud. It is your right to know, not solely if it is written down on a piece of paper to make it legal.
    I want to somehow convey to you that I think it’s courageous that you keep it up in terms of asking for freedoms that are taken for granted here in the US and elsewhere. There is resistance to true democracy and I believe that in establishing this ‘Just Bahraini’, you can achieve that. That is the only thing that set Saddam Hussein’s Iraq apart from other Arab countries. He established a national identity that was not tied to either Sunni or Shia.. Good luck, I think it’s a worthy endeavour to go after..

  3. Anonymous

    Jiddah island used to be the prison colony for long terms prisoners…

    …maybe it’s just a prison of a different sort, leaving one locked up in irrspeonsible, selfish, stupid and avaricious ways

  4. Peter

    Hey ppl what about jiddah island since thats cropped up here! Does anyone know its fate or who it now belongs since it is no longer a prison any more ?!!!

  5. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Bahrain: Over Criticism

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