Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned Al Khalifa regime of Bahrain for arresting Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda, urging the immediate release of the human right activist. “Muhafda is yet again paying for his commitment to the circulation of information about human rights violations in Bahrain,” Secretary-General of the France-based Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire said in a statement on Friday.
“The authorities must stop their repeated violations of freedom of information and allow news providers to operate freely,” Deloire added.On Monday, Bahrain regime forces arrested over 25 demonstrators in and around the capital city, Manama, who had taken to the streets to call for the release of all jailed activists and demanded that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa step down. Muhafda, the head of monitoring and evaluation of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was among those arrested. The RSF statement added that Bahraini authorities limit visits by foreign journalists and often obstruct the reporting of those who are allowed into the country. On December 17, Bahraini officials denied the New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof entry into the country. The Persian Gulf state’s authorities recently arrested photographer Mazen Mahdi and his friends from the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse and kept them in custody for two hours. Mahdi had been previously detained while covering demonstrations in the village of Saar, located west of Manama, on December 28. Opposition rallies have continued in Bahrain in defiance of a government ban on public gatherings. The government’s harsh crackdown on demonstrations has also failed to keep protesters off the streets. Scores have been killed, many of them under torture while in custody, and thousands more detained since the popular uprising in Bahrain began in mid-February 2011. Protesters say they will continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically-elected government is met. TNP/SS