Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bahrain govt. 'gagging' journalists

Saeed al-Shahabi from Bahrain Freedom Movement

Source: Press TV

A senior leader from Bahrain Freedom Movement has condemned the monarchy's “gagging” of activists and journalists covering anti-regime protests.

Speaking to Press TV during a London rally, Saeed al-Shahabi said the Bahrainis no longer trust the king's call for national dialogue following the deployment of Saudi Arabian and UAE troops in Bahrain to crack down on protesters.

“I think the people have passed that stage. They are not interested now in talking to somebody who is killing them, who is bringing foreign forces to occupy their country, who is attacking religious symbols, who is gagging all journalists and arresting political leaders,” al-Shahabi said.

Many foreign journalists have been barred from covering anti-regime protests in Bahrain which have so far led to the death of at least 12 people and the injury of about 1,000 others.

Press TV's correspondent in Manama Johnny Miller is among the many journalists who have been mistreated and deported from Bahrain.

Al-Shahabi said the government's crackdown on civil liberties was “massive.”

He also confirmed earlier reports that several opposition leaders were arrested in Manama on Friday.

Demonstrators in the Shia-majority country have been demanding the ouster of the 230-year-old Sunni-led monarchy as well as constitutional reforms, with hundreds camping out peacefully in the capital's Pearl Square since February 14.

UAE soldiers arrived in crisis-hit Bahrain on Friday to join Saudi Arabian troops, who were sent there earlier this week, to help the Bahraini government's deadly crackdown on anti-government protests.

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