Bahrain authorities 'block' Al Jazeera reporter from GCC summit

Ministry of Information said news network was not permitted to cover event attended by British PM Theresa May
King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa, attends a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit on December 6, 2016, in the Bahraini capital Manama. British Prime Minister Theresa May was to join Gulf Arab leaders at the summit in Bahrain for talks on trade after Britains exit from the European Union. (Stranger/AFP/Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Wed 07 Dec 2016 11:17 AM

Bahraini authorities refused access to an Al Jazeera journalist at Bahrain International Airport on Tuesday ahead of the 37th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Manama.

According to a statement on Al Jazeera’s website, reporter Jamal Elshayyal was taken aside by immigration officials after filling out the requisite documents specifying he was a journalist covering the summit in Manama.

“I was asked to sit on the side by the immigration officer who later informed me that the Ministry of Information had said Al Jazeera was not allowed to cover the event and I had been refused entry,” Elshayyal was quoted as saying in the statement following his return to Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha.

The incident is not the first of its kind for Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) in Manama as the channel’s reporters were also blocked from covering the 30th GCC summit “without providing convincing reasons,” Al Jazeera said in the statement on Tuesday night.

The network said Bahraini officials did not comment on the alleged ban from the event.

Arabian Business understands that there was an issue over permissions for the reporter’s camera equipment, but this has not been confirmed.

Qatar government-owned Al Jazeera said it condemned the authorities’ decision and called it a “deviation from the normal media protocols of host countries”.

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