JUNE 21, 2003
Mansour al-Jamri, Al-Wasat
Hussein Khalaf, Al-Wasat
Al-Jamri and Khalaf, editor and reporter, respectively, at the independent
Bahraini daily Al-Wasat, were prosecuted for an article by Khalaf
published on March 26 reporting that three men who had been arrested in
February and accused of being members of a terrorist cell had been released
Al-Jamri told CPJ that after the alleged terrorists were arrested in February,
the prosecutor general ordered the newspaper not to publish anything relating
to the proceedings. Al-Jamri said that the paper complied with the order
until news of the men's release was published in other news outlets, such
as Agence France-Presse, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, and the London-based,
pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat.
Within days of the article being published in Al-Wasat, the prosecutor
general charged al-Jamri and Khalaf, in accordance with the 2002 Press
Law, with violating a gag order.
The paper's lawyer said that, if convicted, the journalists face up to
six months in prison and a 1,000 dinar (US$2,650) fine.