On September 13 I posted about the four remaining detainees on terrorism charges who were required to stay in custody for a further 30 days. It is now October 15, and well over 30 days have passed since that extension was ordered, but we know nothing about their fate. The detainees have now been in custody for over 90 days in total. Since the Ministry of Information has issued a media blackout on the case, there is no coverage of the case in any of the local papers. We don't know what charges the detainees have been presented with (if any), we don't know what the evidence against them is (except for "curious" data on their computers), and we don't know when and if they will have their day in court. The only information about the case that we have heard recently is that the Commander of the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain thinks their arrest is a step against terrorism.
I understand that maybe some of the information mayb be too sensitive to be released to the public, so the Ministry of Information deemed it necessary to issue a gag order. But instead of gaining our trust by explaining the reasons for the gag order, the Ministry of Information issued further instructions telling the local media outlets that they are not even allowed to talk about the gag order itself. Memories of the 90s linger in my mind.
UPDATE (16-Oct-04): A commenter has informed me that the UAE-based Gulf News printed an article about this case yesterday. Here is an excerpt:
Four Bahrainis, detained since July on suspicion that they were planning a series of terrorist attacks in the kingdom, have been formally charged and will be tried in two weeks, one of their lawyers said yesterday.
The four are being charged with "conspiracy to carry out sabotage acts against public properties and government facilities," according to lawyer Abdullah Hashim. They are to go before the High Criminal Court on November 1. (Continued)
(Thanks Anon for the tip)