Bahrain - Al Arabiya journalists attacked by "extremist minority"

by Reporters Without Borders | Reporters Without Borders
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 02:56 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the physical attack that Al Arabiya TV correspondent Mohamed Al-Arab and cameraman Amjad Taha received from a small group of demonstrators in the northern town of Al-Buddaya on 15 February while covering an opposition protest marking the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising.

The press freedom organization calls on the Bahraini authorities to investigate the incident thoroughly and to take appropriate measures to protect journalists.

Al-Arab told Reporters Without Borders that most of the demonstrators were peaceful but a small group of troublemakers at the rear of the march began to insult him and his cameraman and then threw stones, bricks, steel bars and other objects at them. They also tried to grab their equipment, managing to break their microphone. Police who were nearby did not intervene.

The two journalists were taken to Hamad Hospital for treatment to the injuries they sustained in the attack. Al-Arab had bruising while Taha sustained a head injury and one of his arms was broken.

Al-Arab said he thought it was the first time that opposition supporters had deliberately and gratuitously attacked journalists. He added that he thought they were an "extremist minority."

Bahrain is ranked 163rd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.