Bahrain on Sunday suspended Al Wasat newspaper for publishing a column deemed offensive to an Arab country. “The Ministry of Information Affairs has decided the suspension of the publication of Al Wasat newspaper until further notice for violating the law and repeating the publication of material likely to stir up the community and affect the relations of the Kingdom of Bahrain with other countries,” the ministry said in a statement posted by Bahrain News Agency (BNA).
The column included an abuse of a sisterly Arab country, the ministry added. Under Clause “a” of Article 70 of Bahrain’s 2002 Press Law, newspapers are not allowed to publish abuses targeting the head of an Arab or Islamic state or any other country that has a diplomatic representation with Bahrain.
Al Wasat, one of the five dailies in Arabic in Bahrain, was first published in 2002 following the launch of political and constitutional reforms by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa who came to power in March 1999 upon the death of his father.