Bahrain - Journalists and media professionals will not be held accountable for expressing personal opinions or true facts and information under a new Press and media law.
A draft Press and media law, a copy of which has been obtained by our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej, stipulates that journalists or media professionals will not be forced to disclose sources of their information, unless hiding them will pose a threat to public order or public interest following a court order.
Under no circumstances shall a journalist be detained in custody in connection with crimes provided for in this law. Anyone who offends or commits an aggression against a journalist on account of his work will face the same punishment prescribed by the Penal Code concerning offences committed against a civil servant.
According to the law, anyone who publishes, circulates or spreads defamatory comments against the country’s official religion or His Majesty the King or incites hatred or contempt against a particular group of faction that results in disrupting public order or driving a wedge between members of the society or jeopardising social unity will face a fine of no less than BD5,000 and no more than BD50,000. Such fines will be doubled if the acts are committed in case of national peace or state of emergency.
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