Bahrain approves amended Press law
Manama, May 5, 2008
Freedom of expression in Bahrain received a major boost on Sunday as the amended law on Press and publications was approved.
Chaired by Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Cabinet gave the green light to this important step as Bahrain joined hands with the international community to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.
Under new law provisions, the exercise of freedom of opinion and criticism are no longer punishable, taking into account rules governing such rights.
These regulations 'aim to ensure that the specificities of Bahrain's political system and historically established principles are preserved, warding off any public indecency.'
The amended law also abrogates jail terms or even police custody for journalists.
Local newspapers and other publications will also be spared prior censorship, which will be restricted to imported ones.
The amended law has been forwarded to the Shura Council and parliament as stipulated in the constitution.
Cabinet Affairs Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Ateyatala Al Khalifa hailed the move as translating the leadership's keenness to ensure freedom of opinion.-TradeArabia News Service