Bahrain journalist & UK news crew stopped & taken to police station

Just after 2:30 pm local time, an ITN news team, along with Bahraini journalist Naziha Saeed and their driver, were stopped at a checkpoint and taken to Budaiya police station.

The detention of the journalists came just hours after Reporters Without Borders launched a campaign in advance of the F1, titled: “Don’t Leave News Out of the Race” (see press release in Arabic). Reporters Without Borders condemned the detention:

(Note: from all current knowledge, none of the individuals taken to the police station were arrested)

At 4:10pm local time, Naziha Saeed tweeted that they have been allowed to leave:

Huffington Post reports that the crew of 5 were in Bahrain on an official visa. A spokesperson for ITV news said:

We can confirm we have an ITV News team in Bahrain on a trip approved by the Bahraini authorities who issued their visas.

They were taken to a local police station after being stopped from filming earlier today. They were not arrested.

After discussions with officers there they have now been allowed to continue with their assignment.

Naziha Saeed, who is a correspondent for France 24 & Monte Carlo, was arrested and tortured in May 2011 at the height of the crackdown, after being summoned to a police station in Rifaa’ for questioning. In November 2012, a policewoman was acquitted on charges of “torture and ill treatment in the course of her duties”. Saeed also filed complaints “alleging torture and mistreatment” against two other members of the security forces, but the authorities have not taken any action against them.

At last year’s Formula One, a team working for Channel 4 News (which is produced by ITN) were arrested, detained and deported, after being pursued by police cars and a helicopter. Their local driver was beaten. Channel 4 News’s foreign correspondent Jonathan Miller describes the incident here.

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2 thoughts on “Bahrain journalist & UK news crew stopped & taken to police station

  1. Pingback: Citizen journalist reportedly assaulted by police, pictures deleted | 2013 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

  2. Pingback: Three journalists deported | 2013 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

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