Bahrain shuts down only independent newspaper in country over Morocco protests

Bahrain’s Al-Wasat newspaper (Photo: Internet)

Bahrain’s only independent newspaper was suspended on Sunday, according to local reports, said The New Arab.

Al-Wasat has faced accusations of a “recurrent violation of the law, spreading that which would stir divisions within the community and undermine the Kingdom of Bahrain’s relations with other countries”, The New Arab added.

The Bahrain News Agency referred to an article written on page 19 of the newspaper on Sunday, where it had allegedly “included a defamation of a sisterly Arab country”.

The newspaper’s editor in chief, Mansoor Al-Jamri, had later confirmed that the column was focused on protesters in Morocco’s Rif region, according to The New Arab.

The New Arab added that thousands in Rif, in northern Morocco, have been protesting for nearly two weeks against the arrest of popular opposition leader Nasser Zefzafi, who was arrested towards the end of last month, after interrupting a Mosque sermon to raise awareness over corruption in Morocco and the marginalisation of the Rif region, questioning whether mosques were made for worship, or as a propaganda outlet.

Al-Jamri hit back at the Bahraini information ministry, branding the suspension “harsh and shocking”. He had also said that the perspectives both of protestors and the Moroccan government were covered by the newspaper, The New Arab indicated.

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