Restricted access for journalists as violence in Bahrain escalates
International media has restricted access to Bahrain, journalists report. Index on Censorship rounds up comments from the ground
17 Feb 11

International media has restricted access to Bahrain, journalists report. At least 95 people were injured and four people killed in a police attack on protesters in Manama’s Pearl Square on Thursday. Two people died in the protests earlier this week.

Nick Kristof, New York Times correspondent said: “Bahrain barring journalists from entry at airport. King Hamad doesn’t want witnesses to his brutality.”

Amira Al Hussaini, whose blog was blocked in the country earlier this year, is tweeting and blogging from Bahrain.

CNN cameras have been confiscated at airport and Al Jazeera’s Bilal Randeree (@bilalr) has not been allowed into the country, Al Hussaini said.

Randeree, an online journalist based in Qatar, confirmed the incident on Twitter: “I arrived@ #Manama airport this morn [Thursday]  was told by immigration that no more visa on arrival for #aljazeera ppl – returnin to #Doha soon.”

ABC News reported that its correspondent Miguel Marquez had been caught in the crowd and “beaten by men with billy clubs in Bahrain’s capital, Manama.”

On Wednesday the Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern about detained and attacked journalists and restricted internet access across the Middle East, in Libya, Bahrain, Iran and Yemen.

In an open letter on Monday, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights called upon the Bahraini King to prevent the use of force against peaceful protest.

The organisation also asked for the release of more than 450 detainees, including human rights activists.