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Thu 5 Jun 2014 01:43 PM

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Bahraini MP files defamation suit over 'insulting' photo

Al Ayam newspaper has responded to lawsuit by re-publishing the offending photo of Minister for Information Affairs Sameera Rajab

Bahraini MP files defamation suit over 'insulting' photo
Bahraini Minister of State for Information Affairs Sameera Rajab. (Getty Images)

A female MP in Bahrain has launched defamation action against a local Arabic newspaper after it published an unflattering photograph of her.

In response to the legal action, Al Ayam republished the offending photograph, which shows Minister for Information Affairs and official government spokeswoman Sameera Rajab with her eyes closed in mid-expression during a House of Representatives session.

Al Ayam editor-in-chief Isa Al Shaiji was reportedly questioned for two hours by the Public Prosecution on Wednesday.

Police raised 10 issues with the photograph, including that the picture was “insulting”.

"Mr Al Shaiji told prosecutors that the articles Ms Rajab claims to defame her were based on people's opinions," his lawyer Hussain Taqi was quoted by Kuwait Times as saying.

"It was part of the public interest to publish people's opinion and discuss them in a newspaper about a national issue.

"Regarding the picture of Ms Rajab in parliament it was not taken by a photographer of Al Ayam newspaper. However, it was published and there is nothing wrong with it."

Al Ayma has filed a counter-suit after Rajab described the newspaper as a "yellow paper".