The Committee to Protest Journalist called on Friday for the release of a Bahraini freelance journalist who has been arrested for criticizing a possible union between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain aiming at forging closer political and military union between the two countries.
Ahmed Radhi was arrested at home by security forces on Wednesday approximately around 4 a.m. Interviewed by the London-based Bahrain Press Association, his family said the negative comments Rahdi made on Monday and Tuesday during media interviews prompted his arrest.
Radhi also posted the comments he made during his interview with BBC Arabic Radio on his Facebook and Twitter accounts saying that a union between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain would justify the deployment and occupation of Saudi troops in the Gulf country. During last year’s uprising the government imposed martial law and brought in Saudi and United Emirates Troops to suppress pro-democracy protests.
The journalist previously worked for the pro-government daily Al-Ayyam and as a correspondent for the Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar TV before the government withdrew his accreditation, CPJ says. Since then he has been writing on his own blog, "Silahi Qalami," (My weapon is my pen), reporting through his Twitter account, writing for news websites, and appearing as a commentator on several Arabic-language satellite channels.
"Bahraini authorities are waging a campaign of intimidation against critical journalists, and Ahmed Radhi appears to be the most recent victim," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "Authorities should release him immediately and end their effort to silence dissenting views."