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Bahrain Journalists Association Issues Statement
09 : 05 PM - 02/05/2011
Manama, May 2. (BNA) -- Bahrain Journalists Association (BJA) today greeted Bahraini journalists and media persons for the crucial role they play for the sake of upgrading journalism in the kingdom, wishing them further success in carrying out their duties according to the professional ethics and social responsibilities.

In a statement issued on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 3, BJA hailed the advanced level of press and media freedoms prevailing in the kingdom thanks to the comprehensive pioneering Reform Project anchored by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

In this context, BJA praised highly considering press freedom as a basic pillar of the kingdom’s reform and modernization project, taking pride in the Royal appreciation of the major role played by the journalists and media persons, which, it asserted, reflects the kingdom’s belief in the freedom of opinion and expression within the state of law and institutions.

The association also praised senior officials’ statements on the need not to punish or imprison journalists because of their profession, calling upon the Representatives Council to adopt a Press and Publication law as soon as possible.

"HM King Hamad’s advanced Reform Project deserves an ‘enlightened’ Press and Publications Law as directed by HM the King during one of his keynote addresses to Parliament," BJA said, adding that speeding up the adoption of that draft law will improve the kingdom’s laws regulating the press profession in the kingdom, and keep abreast with the major qualitative leaps achieved by the Bahraini press throughout its history.

BJA also expressed deep concern over the pressure exercised on some journalists by some politicians, clerics and extremists, noting that it has received some complaints about some journalists being threatened by some sides.

In this regard, BJA called upon honest journalists to join ranks and adhere to journalism ethics in order to uncover the challenges facing the kingdom.

"Free and responsible journalism is capable of developing the nation, promoting human values and safeguarding the kingdom’s distinctive sectarian, political and intellectual melting pot in a way that protects citizenship and social unity and harmony, as free press is a perfect platform from cultural and intellectual enlightenment," BJA said.

BJA also urged journalists and media persons to avoid inciting, sectarian and hostile rhetoric, and stand united against those vile practices which are alien to the noble ethics of journalism.

On this occasion, BJA extended its sincere thanks and gratitude to HM King Hamad for his boundless backing for journalism and media and constant support for freedom of opinion and expression, pledging to spare no effort for the sake of defending the Royal Reform and democratic Project.

BJA also extended its heartfelt thanks and gratitude to His Royal Highness Premier Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, for their supportive stances towards journalists and media persons and constant interaction with them out of their belief in the national role played by press in the kingdom development march.
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BNA 1611 GMT 2011/05/02
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