High number of requests limits Bahrain media access: IAA

February 14, 2012

Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority said that the unusually high number of requests by international media to be in Bahrain at the same time is behind the decision to delay their visits to the kingdom.

“The Information Affairs Authority (IAA) has received an unusually high number of media visa requests for the period February 11 – 18 and had been processing them accordingly over the last month once visit dates had been specified,” Shaikh Fawaz Bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, the President of IAA, said.

“However, media that did not specify exact dates with their requests, or those who were late in applying, were asked to delay their visit, in order to insure their safety and their chances of securing interviews with key figures,” he said.

Media outlets have reported that their applications to be in Bahrain during the week that marks the anniversary of the demonstrations launched on February 14 had been rejected.

“In some cases, several journalists from the same media outlet submitted applications. We processed the earliest requests and asked those who applied later to come at the end of the month instead. We wanted to make sure we had a wide range of international media here during this time, rather than having five to ten journalists from the same organisation,” Shaikh Fawaz said.

He said that teams from many of the major foreign media outlets would be in Bahrain to cover events.

“One of the chief concerns for the IAA is that journalists coming to Bahrain are able to meet with the people who can provide them with the information they seek, and especially that their safety is insured.

To that end, the IAA has been working with the interior ministry to arrange for media to ride along on operations and cover both legal and unauthorized demonstrations,” he said. IAA sources said that around 60 media outlets are accredited in Bahrain




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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