Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bahrain Arrests Photojournalist For Witness On Impunity

 
(Pc courtesy bahrainalyoum.net)

Media freedom monitors have called for the immediate release Ahmed Al-Fardan a Bahraini photojournalist held without charges and beaten since December 26. It is believed Al-Fardan was arrested because of his photographing of human rights violations in Bahrain and for his campaign for the release of a fellow-journalist detained since December 2012. Al-Fardan was earlier arrested in August, assaulted and threatened with death before he was released.

Al-Fardan worked as a photojournalist for Nurphoto, Demotex and Sipa



New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Al-Fardan’s father Jabar had told a Bahraini newspaper the police had stormed the house in the early hours of December 26, handcuffed his son and taken him away to an undisclosed destination. Al-Fardan had later telephone to say he was safe but had not given any indication of his whereabouts, his father disclosed.

Reporters without Borders (RSF) said he had not been allowed visitors and CPJ quoted the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights that no charges had been filed.

“We condemn Fardan’s arbitrary arrest and demand his immediate and unconditional release,” RSF said. “We also call on the Bahraini authorities to stop using arbitrary detention to gag dissident journalists. Such practices constitute a grave threat to freedom of information and flout Bahrain’s international obligations.”

CPJ said, “Al-Fardan is also known for advocating for his fellow photographers. In his last tweet, on Monday, he called for the release of Ahmed Humaidan, another Bahraini photojournalist who has been imprisoned for a year because of his work in documenting protests against Bahraini authorities. Al-Fardan also participated in a demonstration this month calling for Humaidan’s release.”

Al-Fardan’s photograph won the second place in IFEX’s contest in November to expose impunity.

Both CPJ and RSF referred to Al-Fardan’s arrest (CPJ called it a kidnapping) in August by security forces personnel in plainclothes who beat and threatened with death before being released with injuries. 

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