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Press Freedom in Bahrain Three Years After #Feb14

Three years ago, hundreds of thousands of Bahrainis descended to the streets to demand change. A harsh government crackdown and the turn to violence by some protesters have dampened the hope lit on February 14, 2011. In this context, we asked how press freedom has changed since #Feb14.


  1. Three years ago...

  2. Hundreds of thousands of Bahrainis joined together to demand greater freedom in the small island country. But the movement was repressed violently by the government, and, in turn, some protesters eventually began to throw rocks and Molotov cocktails in what they said was self-defense. The cycle of street violence deeply polarized the population.
  3. (Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)
  4. Channel 4's Report Of Police Clampdown On Protestors, Pearl Roundabout, Manama, Bahrain, 170211
  5. As part of the government crackdown, journalists faced increasing physical and legal danger. According to CPJ research, at least three journalists have been killed in the line of duty since February 14, 2011.
  6. And at least three journalists were behind bars, according to our latest prison census conducted on December 1, 2013. That makes Bahrain the second worst jailer of journalists per capita in the world.
  7. Today...

  8. On the third anniversary of the #Feb14 protest movement, we asked Bahrainis and Bahrain observers how they think the status of press freedom has changed in the country. We know what we think: the Bahraini government has fallen terribly short of its own rhetoric of reform. But we wanted to hear directly from you.
  9. Better, Worse, or Much of the Same?

  10. Some respondents said nothing had changed in the past three years.
  11. Translation: "Just as the authorities still repress the voices of the people with teargas, shotguns and arrests, so it also continues to repress the free press"
  12. (Photo credit: Reuters)
  13. Many respondents said things had gone from "bad to worse." 
  14. Mohammed al-Maskati, president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, agreed the situation had gotten worse.