Call for probe after columnist’s flat gutted in fire

January 10, 2013

Bahrain Journalists Association (BJA) has called for a swift conclusion of the investigation into the cause of a fire that ravaged the flat of a columnist.

“The BJA wants to know whether the fire was due to negligence or faulty wires or was an arson attack on the columnist Hassan Abdullah Al Madani,” the BJA said in a statement.

The association of the Bahrain-based journalists said that it wanted to know if there was a link between the flat-gutting and the threats that Al Madani has received, mainly on social networks, over the content of his columns.

“We express our full solidarity with Al Madani and we are deeply concerned that he was the victim of an arson attack. We do stress the importance of protecting freedom of opinion and expression, away from any form of threats, defamations, insults and libels that are published by some people on the Internet,” the BJA said.

Al Madani reported that his flat in Isa Town, eight kilometres south of the capital Manama was gutted, but said that there was no casualty.

“No one was at home when the fire broke out and I am grateful that a turtle that I bought for my daughter four years ago survived the blaze,” he said.

The columnist has often waded into controversy for writing columns that called upon Bahrainis to ignore religious extremists and political demagogues and engage in a dialogue that will help put an end to the crisis that has deeply impacted Bahraini society.

He said he had received threats to have his fingers cut off from radicals for the columns regularly published in Akhbar Al Khaleej, the oldest daily in circulation 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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