Bahrain former editors quizzed over alleged fake articles

April 12, 2011

Bahrain’s public prosecution on Monday charged the former editor-in-chief, editor and local news editor of Al Wasat daily with publishing false news, undermining public order and harming the country’s interests.

The charges were levelled during the quizzing of Mansoor Al Jamri, Waleed Nuwaihadh and Aqeel Mirza, a statement from the public prosecutor said.

According to the statement, the three journalists refused the presence of representatives from Bahrain Journalists Association during the questioning over the publication of the reportedly fake articles and pictures between March 25 and 29.

The journalists who were allowed to go home will be referred to a criminal court following the investigations, the statement said.

The Information Affairs Authority said that it filed the case against Al Wasat based on Law 47/2002 regulating press, printing and publishing.

Al Wasat was launched in September 2002 with Mansoor Al Jamri at the helm.

Penalty under law

Bahrain’s media law prohibits the imprisonment of journalists but allows for fines. However, it was not clear what sentence might be imposed under martial law. The defendants said they had been allowed full access to their lawyers.

They will admit to publishing six incorrect articles, as accused. However, they will argue that all of the false news was e-mailed to Al Wasat from the same IP address as part of an apparent campaign to plant disinformation.

The defendants will argue that this news slipped through the editing net at Al Wasat, which suffered an attack on its printing press on March 14 even as its offices functioned inside a zone where a curfew had been imposed the same week and it operated with skeletal staff.

With input from agencies



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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