Bahrain took a decision of closing down a new Arabic news channel Al-Arab considering of not having any license and raising voice towards terrorism. Al-Arab has been closed last week after the broadcast of an interview with the opposition politician.
In a statement it has been mentioned, “IAA (Information Affairs Authority) announces the pause of Al-Arab considering of not to obtain any licensing agreement of broadcasting in Bahrain. Again it has failed to meet the standards of regional and international commitments, to take into consideration of any extremism or terrorism in any parts of the world.”
In a separate statement from the media adviser it has been cleared that the decision will make no impact on rules and regulations of media independence and it is completely based on the government in order to ensure impartiality and diversity throughout the media centers in the kingdom. The channel was announced closed after officially started broadcasting on 1st February. The channel declared closed as soon as the interview with Khalil Al-Marzooq, from the opposition party named Al Wefaq Shiite party, has been aired. In the interview, he has claimed that the decision of government of snitching away citizenship of 72 Bahrainis in the cause of terrorism activity is a biased decision and made without any just hearing.
Al-Arab was owned by Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Al-Saud, who has estimated wealth of $23.5 billion according to Forbes. Prince has chosen the channel to be broadcasted in Bahrain because of it is much more liberal than Saudi Arabia in terms of media circulation where independent channels are strictly outlawed.