Crisis & Post crisis Media in Bahrain
The media coverage in Bahrain today is an extension of positions
taken during the recent crisis in the country. As such one should
speak of ‘medias’ not ‘media’, which in this case can be divided
into two kinds which target separate audiences. It is a ‘crisis
media’ because since the recent troubles in the country, it has
been infected by sectarianism, marginalization, accusations and
the harassment of journalists.
Media coverage in Bahrain also contains a considerable amount
of stereotyping, where the opponent (whether from the opposition
or the loyalist camp) is boycotted or ignored in order to contain
their dangerous influence on an already sectarianized and politicised
No Democracy without Human Rights
Towards Reforms and Change
In 1993, the Declaration and Programme of Action
issued by the International Conference on Human Rights recognised
the interdependence and mutually reinforcing relationship between
democracy, development and human rights.
Democracy and human rights are interdependent and reinforce one
another. There can be no democracy without respecting the fundamental
rights of citizens in accordance to International human rights standards.
An increase in human rights violations undermines democracy.
Hasan Moosa Shafaei
When he stayed away from the political arena, this was seen as
an indication of a political and human rights crisis in the country.
But when he re-entered the scene after two years, hope was restored.
This sums up what can be said about the appointment of the Crown
Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa as First Deputy Prime Minister.
The opposition was optimistic and welcomed this step and put
forward a number of serious issues for him to resolve. Arab and
Western capitals, as well as International human rights figures
and bodies welcomed this step, and saw in it a potential solution
which can help take Bahrain out of its current crisis along the
road towards stability, democracy and peace. It is clear that even
ordinary citizens are optimistic and see the Crown Prince as a popular,
humble and bold figure, who is capable of making di?ficult decisions
and tackling contentious issues with due transparency .
Disappointment over the Outcome of the Visit by HRW
Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) visit to Bahrain in February
2013 and its concluding statement sparked several reactions from
the Government, media, Parliament and civil society organisations.
The content and language of the statement surprised many and triggered
harsh criticisms including calls to refrain from cooperating with
HRW and holding those who invited it into the country accountable.
What was said to cause this level of disappointment and what pushed
some to suggest that HRW officials should not be allowed to enter
The Relationship with International Human Rights Organizations
should not be Jeopardised
The visit of HRW to Bahrain in February and its report on 28th
which contained harsh criticisms of the human rights situation sparked
the question of how useful it is to continue the relationship with
international human rights organizations.
In comparison to other organisations such as Amnesty International,
HRW’s reports are the harshest. The relation with these organizations
has always been tense and the disagreements from the Government’s
point of view can be summarised as follows:
Bahrain’s National Dialogue on Trial
The long awaited dialogue has begun after the King
called upon all parties, the opposition, the loyalists and the Government
to discuss the scope of a political solution for the current crisis.
The first dialogue sessions witnessed disagreements
over the number of participants and the nature of the executive
authority’s participation and how far it is representing the Government.
There were also disagreements regarding the guarantees for the implementation
of the results of the dialogue.
The important thing to note this time is that the coverage of
the dialogue by the State’s TV and the media was transparent and
balanced. The dialogue took place amidst a great amount of articles,
statements and heated debates on tweeter between the opposition
and Government officials. The crisis on the streets has also been
escalating and this has been interpreted as an objection to having
dialogue in the first place between the opposition and the authority
or as an attempt to influence the dialogue.