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Shura member seeks apology from journalists' body

A SHURA Council member accused of making insulting comments against the Press has demanded an apology from a body representing Bahrain's journalists.

Dr Lulwa Al Awadhi, who last week described journalists as "schoolchildren", said her comments were directed at media policies adopted by the council and were not meant to be derogatory.

She spoke as she interrupted celebrations marking World Press Freedom Day yesterday.

The festivities, held inside the chamber, featured the distribution of gifts and roses to members of the Press and the council's information directorate personnel to mark the occasion, which will fall on Saturday.

"I have revised the recordings of last week's session and after thorough examination I didn't find any insult to the Press and all my criticism was towards the parliamentary media policy adopted by the council," said Dr Al Awadhi.

"The Press or the council's information directorate personnel were not insulted and all. What I was trying to imply was that there is weakness in the council's media direction.

"I was shocked with the Bahrain Journalists Association (BJA) issuing a statement that I have attacked the Press.

"I contacted the association which told me they have understood the situation and will issue an apology.

"But they did not apologise and issued a three-line statement saying that my comments were directed at members of the council's information directorate."

She also criticised the council's public relations, media and research affairs assistant secretary-general Dr Fawzia Al Jeeb for not informing her about the statement.

However, Dr Al Jeeb defended her actions, saying she had alerted council members to the BJA statement.

"When the statement was issued I immediately referred it to all council members through the Shura's WhatsApp group - Dr Al Awadhi doesn't have WhatsApp," she said.

BJA president Mounis Al Mardi told the GDN they will not issue another statement to avoid going into war with Dr Al Awadhi.

Council secretary-general Abduljalil Al Tareef read out a statement during the session in honour of Bahrain's media.

"The Press' objectivity and outstanding coverage reflects transparency and freedom of word," he said.

"We pledge to provide the Press with the best atmosphere to do its work and we are keen for parliament to finish revising the new media law to have it approved before the end of the four-year term."


Page last updated on: 05/02/2018 12:31 PM