Bahrain blasts Al Jazeera for ‘slander and lies’

Bahrain politicians plan protest to Qatar over Doha news channel documentary
Bahrain blasts Al Jazeera for ‘slander and lies’
Al Jazeera news channel
By Claire Ferris-Lay
Tue 09 Aug 2011 10:02 AM

Bahrain has protested to neighbouring Qatar after Doha-based satellite news channel Al Jazeera aired a documentary that claimed to show continuing anti-government protests in the Gulf state.

Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News on Sunday attacked the 50-minute documentary, which catalogued human rights abuses and showed how Facebook was used to target pro-democracy activists.

The newspaper said politicians were in the process of “reviewing mechanisms to refute the lies and slanders about Bahrain,” which included issuing a letter of protest to the Qatari ambassador.

The documentary, which aired on Al Jazeera’s English language channel but not in Arabic, included an interview with the former MP Matar Matar, who in May was detained after resigning from parliament in protest at the handling of the anti-government protests.

Bahrain MP Hassan Al Dossary called on the Qatari leadership to intervene in a bid to prevent damaging future coverage from the news channel.

“The danger will not only affect Bahrain, but also other GCC countries,” he told Gulf Daily News.

In March, Bahrain's rulers imposed martial law and called in troops from fellow Sunni-ruled Gulf neighbours to quell weeks of unrest during pro-democracy demonstrations by mostly Shi'ite protesters.

Tens of thousands marched outside Bahrain's capital Manama in July in protest of a National Dialogue they said had failed to bring real democratic reform in the Gulf island kingdom.

King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa has approved parliamentary reforms submitted by the National Dialogue that grant more powers of scrutiny to an elected lower house but preserved the dominance of an upper house appointed by the royal elite.

Bahrain's Sunni rulers launched the dialogue in July, aiming to quell international criticism of its crushing of mass pro-democracy protests led by the Shi'ite majority in February and March.

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