Mansoor al-Jamri, Ex-editors of Al-Wasat, Opposition Bahraini Newspaper to Go on Trial

Mansoor al-Jamri, Ex-editors of Al-Wasat, Opposition Bahraini Newspaper to Go on Trial

Three Bahraini opposition journalists are expected to go on trial Wednesday, accused by the government of a range of charges amid unrest in the Persian Gulf state and an ensuing government crackdown.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – “Al-Wasat newspaper has been charged with fabricating news knowingly and with the aim of spreading some sort of discord and unrest amongst the population, which is not true,” Mansoor al-Jamri, former editor-in-chief of the publication.

Al-Jamri, along with the paper’s former managing editor, Walid Nouwaihidh; its former local news department head, Aqeel Mirza; were forced to quit in April.

The three men will appear in the country’s Civilian High Court, charged with fabrication of news to disturb public security. A fourth man, Ali al-Sharifi, will be tried in absentia.

At the time, the state-run Bahrain News Agency reported that the Information Affairs Authority had “instigated legal proceedings” against the daily newspaper following the firings.

“The flagrant press irregularities committed by Bahrain daily Al-Wasat will be referred to the International Federation of Journalists and the Arab Journalists Union,” the news agency reported.

According to the news agency, the accusations against Al-Wasat also included “deliberate news fabrication and falsification during the recent unrest which gripped the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

Bahrain is one of several Middle Eastern and North African countries embroiled in anti-government protests. To quell the protests, the Bahraini government called in troops from member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

“Every Shia now is a criminal,” al-Jamri said. “Every Shia in Bahrain is considered by the state … an enemy of the state and unfortunately this is not a recipe for calm in the future.”

Government officials say 1,300 people were dismissed from their jobs, but up to 900 have been reinstated.

But it’s a figure opposition sources dispute, saying they believe more than 2,000 jobs have been lost, nearly all of them held by Shia Muslims.

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