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Bahrain: RSF protests conviction of three journalists

BBC Monitoring

Text of press release by Paris-based organization Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) on 24 October

Reporters Without Borders is astonished by a criminal court's decision on 21 October to convict Saleh Al-Amm, the editor of the online newspaper Al-Saheefa (www.alsaheefa.net), Fareed Al-Shayeb, one of his reporters, and Muath Al-Mesri, a columnist for the Al Wasat newspaper, of posting defamatory articles on the Al-Saheefa website. They were fined 200 dinars (370 euros).

"The defamatory nature of these articles was by no means established," the press freedom organization said. "Attacks on free expression are on the increase in Bahrain."

Article 365 of the Bahraini criminal code and article 46 of the press code have been used to prosecute at least 14 journalists, bloggers and website administrators in the past six months.

Source: Reporters Sans Frontieres press release, Paris, in English 0000 gmt 24 Oct 07


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