Blog archive: Bahrain

  • 21st July 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Bahrain's ruling family has a long history of promising reform, and a long history of failing to deliver. We saw it most recently in connection with the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, where key recommendations are still to be implemented. But that's nothing new: arguments about...
  • 18th July 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The right of people to get together and organise themselves in pursuit of shared interests is one of the building blocks for a free and open society. It is also something that Arab regimes fear, since active citizenship undermines their authority. Consequently, many of them have introduced laws...
  • 15th July 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Gulf Daily News, which bills itself as "The voice of Bahrain", is up to its old tricks again. Under the jubilant headline "Opposition vanishing", it reported yesterday: "A major new survey reveals that support for Bahrain's opposition is dramatically waning as the Premier steers...
  • 8th May 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When a Gulf regime needs to state in public that relations with its most important ally are "robust and strong", we can be pretty sure that something is amiss. Thus, Bahrain's insistence that all is well between Washington and Manama comes amid increasing friction between the two...
  • 24th April 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Bahrain's foreign ministry has expressed "dissatisfaction" with the US State Department's annual country-by-country report on human rights. It says the section on Bahrain "lacks objectivity and impartiality, and overlooks Bahrain’s progress in maintaining and promoting human rights...
  • 29th March 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Human Rights Watch says it stands by its assessment of the situation in Bahrain following an attack on its findings by Britain's ambassador in the troubled Gulf kingdom. At the end of a fact-finding visit last month, HRW said Bahrain’s rulers had "made no progress on key reform...
  • 29th March 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A group of British MPs have "hailed the positive political and economic atmosphere reigning in Bahrain as well as landmark development strides", the Gulf Daily News ("The Voice of Bahrain") reports today. The delegation of MPs, headed by Richard Ottaway, chairman of the House of Commons...
  • 27th March 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      Backing the regime in Bahrain: Liam Fox and John Bolton The idea of holding an international conference on "institutional developments and political reforms in Bahrain" prompts the obvious joke that there won't be much to talk about, but this is the theme...
  • 25th March 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Today's edition of the Gulf Daily News ("The Voice of Bahrain") contains no fewer than six stories based on an interview with Britain's skydiving ambassador, Iain Lindsay. In the form it is reported, the interview appears to be an almost unqualified endorsement of Bahrain's...
  • 11th March 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There was a time when Arab media habitually reshaped the news to fit their official line – deliberately omitting salient facts, grossly misrepresenting what people said, and so on. In a pre-internet age, when national borders could still be sealed against information coming from outside, they were...
  • 27th February 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Bahrain has expressed its appreciation to the UAE for turning away a British academic who was due to speak at a conference in the Emirates last Sunday. Bahrain's foreign ministry said the UAE's decision was "a true reflection of the strong bonds of fraternity between the UAE...
  • 23rd February 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The London School of Economics (LSE) has cancelled a conference which was due to be held in the United Arab Emirates tomorrow after one of the speakers was turned back at Dubai airport. The conference, entitled "The New Middle East: Transition in the Arab World", listed several prominent Middle...

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