Web law ‘threat to Arab media’
By REBECCA TORR
A NEW law to control websites and radio broadcasting in the region has been attacked by Bahrain human rights organisations under a regional campaign. Thirty-four groups, including three from Bahrain, have rejected the law stating that it is against human rights because it imposes restrictions on freedom of expression.
They add that the law is not even legitimate because it has not received the approval of parliament and legislative authorities.
The new law was signed by Information Ministers of Arab countries, including Bahrain, on February 12.
It contains 12 articles that aim to organise, broadcasting and re-broadcasting, and receive broadcasts in the Arab region.
Its goal is to pay respect to freedom of expression and spread culture through space transmission.
But human rights groups say the law is actually against freedom of expression and its main aim is to silence opponents of Arab governments who criticise their policies.
One of the organisations is the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, which is calling on the government to reject the law.
“This is not good for the Arab region. It will control media and the media must have the freedom to talk and not be controlled by the Arab governments,” society president Mohammed Al Maskati told the GDN.