Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bahrain vs Doha's al-Jazeera

Bahrain has protested to Qatar against a recent film produced by the Doha based satellite channel, al-Jazeera. The 50 minute documentary details the long list of human rights abuses suffered by the Shia population in Bahrain, as well as a demonstration of how the Sunni Government used Facebook to determine which ‘Shia traitors’ incited protests. Bahraini press criticised the film for its ‘lies and slander’ and its insinuation that the regime continues to behave in a violent and prejudiced way towards the Shia majority. Matar Matar, an al-Wifaq MP was interviewed in the film and later jailed for denouncing the al-Khlaifa dynasty. He awaits his trial in the civilian court.

Khamis al-Rumaihi, a pro-government Sunni MP, accused al-Jazeera, owned by the emir of Qatar, of trying to instigate unrest and counteracting the benefits procured by the recent national dialogues. The Bahraini government has also insinuated that the satellite TV channel is biased and inconsistent in its reports as apparently much more sympathy was bestowed upon the respcetive regimes’ actions in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. An indisputably underhanded move on al-Jazeera’s part was that the documentary was only aired on its sister English channel, thereby reducing the repercussions of the broadcast.

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