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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=Another blackout. Sorry for the trouble.

Another blackout

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Not a power blackout, but another media blockout. Sorry, I missed this news item from yesterday since it wasn't in any of the Bahraini papers (obviously). Apparently the six detainees are to remain in custody for a further 15 days, without having being charged (and having completed their original 45 days in custody already). In addition, the media blackout on the details of the case is to continue. This media cover-up really bothers me. What is it that the authorities are so desperately trying to hide from the public?? The case will be decided by already appointed judges -- not by a jury of citizens who might be influenced by the media to cause an unfair trial. I hope that Bahrain's community of journalists will try to challenge this arbitrary ruling.

Anyways, here is the AP report from yesterday's Khaleej Times:

MANAMA - Bahraini authorities have placed a gag order on publishing details on the investigation surrounding six detained terror suspects, who were ordered by a court yesterday to remain in custody for a further 15 days, their lawyers said.

The detainees, who have not been charged, were first arrested June 22 in relation to alleged plots to attack targets in Bahrain, and contacts with foreign terrorist organisations. Authorities, however, released the men a day later, but re-arrested them on July 14 after investigators searched their computers and allegedly found documents on making and using bombs and poisons, the Interior Ministry claimed. On July 15, the prosecutor’s office said the men would be held for 45 days.

Tempers flared during yesterday’s court hearing after the judge upheld a prosecution request for the men to be held for 15 more days. Several suspects screamed at officials as their female relatives, wearing head-to-toe abayas, burst into tears. It was unclear why the court extended their incarceration. Lawyers Farid Ghazi and Abdullah Hashim, representing five of detainees, said the men had been ordered to remain in custody, but did not elaborate on the extensions. Prosecution officials could not be reached for comment.

On July 20, Bahraini authorities issued a gag order barring media outlets from reporting on the investigations into the case of the six suspects. It was unclear when the order will be lifted. An Interior Ministry statement released last month said the six, plus another man who is in Britain, had been in contact with terrorist organisations abroad and had finalised plans to attack targets in Bahrain.


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