Bahrain is to sue the Independent newspaper, accusing it of "orchestrating a defamatory and premeditated media campaign" against the Gulf state and neighbouring Saudi Arabia. It singled out for criticism the newspaper's award-winning Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk.
A UK-based legal firm has been hired, according to a report by the state news agency in Bahrain. Last week the Bahrain grand prix was cancelled following complaints by Formula One teams.
"The Independent has deliberately published a series of unrealistic and provocative articles targeting Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Bahrain's state news agency (BNA) was told by Nawaf Mohammad Al Maawda of the country's information affairs authority.
The BNA said he had cited Fisk in particular and accused the newspaper of "orchestrating a defamatory and premeditated media campaign against both countries, failing to abide by professional impartiality and credibility in its one-sided
news-coverage and reports". The Independent issued no immediate comment.
The former chief editor of Bahrain's main independent newspaper says he has evidence of an apparent effort to plant false news stories during Shiite-led protests for greater rights in the kingdom.
Mansour Al Jamri presented copies of six e-mailed stories as part of his defence yesterday on charges of encouraging unrest.
Al Jamri told the court that the stories describing fabricated crackdowns by authorities came from an internet address in Saudi Arabia.
From / Gulf News