His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has paid tributeto all journalists, media personnel and intellectuals for their crucial role inprotecting the country’s security and stability, and promoting national progress andprosperity.In an address marking the World Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 3, HM theKing affirmed unwavering respect of press and media freedom.He stressed resolve to continue the reform and democratic project unabated topromote political and media plurality and responsible freedom, and urged
commitment to professional and ethical standard, underling the importance ofheeding vital national interests.
"We have always affirmed that our political and democratic reform project will goahead, and that press and media freedom is one of the basic cornerstones of thatproject," he said.HM the King cited constant directives to protect press and media outlets andpersonnel from attempts aiming to limit their freedom and undermine the exercise
of their enlightenment role, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitutionand the National Action Charter.
He urged cooperation in order to speedy approve of a restriction-free modern andenlightened Press and Printing Law that copes with the development and democraticreforms witnessed by the kingdom and enable journalists to reveal truth, fightcorruption, identify irregularities and enlighten the public.HM the King lauded laud the crucial role played by the national press throughout itslong and "honourable" history, particularly during the regretful incidents witnessedby the kingdom in 2011, when it played a major role in countering the fallaciousmedia campaigns staged against the country, directing all officials to respect thepress and cooperate fully with journalists, media personnel and intellectuals so asto be able to assume their duties easily and achieve public interests.HM King Hamad called upon all parties and institutions to support the nationalpress and deal with it as a means to enlighten the public and spread culture andawareness among the citizens, stressing that the mission of the press is noble and
should not be compromised.HM the King renewed call to all constitutional branches to cooperate with the Press,
being the fourth Estate that plays an equally vital role in the kingdom's democraticexperience.HM King Hamad reiterated commitment to "the right to freedom of opinion andexpression," stipulated by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,calling on journalists to exercise such a right with responsibility and in accordance
with laws, regulations and the code of professional conduct.HM the King urged the press to take advantage of its highly important role infostering tolerance, respect and freedom of religion and belief, and avoid beingused as tools of incitement and indecency and means to disseminate the hatreddiscourse, noting that the exercise of the discretionary power shall not affect basicliberties.He cited directives to promote housing projects for journalists and media personnel,directing the relevant sides to expedite the implementation of the project in orderto ensure stability and comfort for journalists.HM the King praised the theme of the this year's World Press Freedom Day, "Media
Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the Post-2015 Development Agenda", anddirected the concerned sides to cooperate with the Bahrain Journalists' Association(BJA) to launch a "Bahraini Press Day" to be an occasion to honour the nationalpress and pay tribute to journalists and media persons for their patriotic effortsand noble mission.