Photo: Bahrain News Agency
Following up on our coverage of Bahraini media (amid reports of army shooting into crowds), today the local media continues to show reporting that, at least on the surface, is self-censored and pro-government.Perhaps the most blatant editorializing appears in the English langage version of the Bahrain News Agency, the national news service.
They report on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s phone call to Bahraini foreign minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa (emphasis mine):
“The US today backed the Kingdom of Bahrain, stressing support for His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s reform project. Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa received a phone call from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who stressed her country’s keen interest in Bahrain’s security, urging all parties to rally together in support of HM the King’s project.”
Now read the about the call from AFP (again, emphasis mine):
The chief US diplomat said she “directly conveyed” to her counterpart Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa “our deep concerns about the actions of the security forces” in deadly protests…“We call on restraint from the government to keep its commitment to hold accountable those who have utilized excessive force against peaceful demonstrators,” Clinton said.
Nowhere in the reporting does Clinton say anything specifically backing the actions of the al-Khalifa regime.
More of the leading paper’s main headlines are below. Only Al Wasat seems to be reporting the same news as the international press (English translated by Google cleaned up for clarity):
From Al Watan:
More than 100 thousand Bahrainis take to the streets in a march of loyalty to the King
“Chanting against foreign interference in internal affairs, the participants demand that BBC, Al Jazeera, and others have neutrality and objectivitiy in their coverage…”
From Gulf Daily News:
GCC Backs Bahrain
GCC states expressed their full solidarity with His Majesty King Hamad and the Bahraini people.
Guns and swords found
“Bahraini police have denied using heavy-handed tactics to evict anti-government protest- ers from Pearl Roundabout early yesterday, in an operation that left at least four people dead…A[n Interior Ministry] spokesman said four guns, including a Smith and Wesson, were confiscated along with live ammunition. He said that 50 police officers were injured, 27 of them serious – including one who lost four fingers after allegedly being deliberately run over by a demonstrator, who has been taken into custody.”
BDF helps restore stability to city
“MANAMA: Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) has deployed troops in the Capital Governorate to help preserve the security and safety of citizens and residents and protect them and their properties from violence, it announced yesterday.”
Al Wasat provided some hope among the otherwise subdued reporting:
Bahrain Bloody Thursday
Bahrain was shocked at the fall of at least four people and about 250 wounded…after security forces raided the masses of demonstrators….
…In terms of global reaction, the President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State declared themselves severe critics of the Bahraini authorities. Similar statements were issued by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union.
At the regional level, the foreign ministers of the GCC countries, at an extraordinary meeting they held in Manama yesterday evening, declared their support and full solidarity with the actions taken by the Bahraini authorities.
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