I have known Mansoor al-Jamri, the editor-in-chief of Bahrain’s Al Wasat newspaper for many years. He is a brave, determined and diligent journalist and his newspaper is the only independent voice in a deeply divided country.
On 16 January at 7pm local time, Bahrain’s Ministry of Information delivered a letter to Al Wasat's offices, ordering the paper to shut down its online site. At the same time, the government-run Bahrain News Agency issued a terse press release. That was followed up by a televised report just five minutes after the letter had landed on Mansoor al-Jamri’s desk. As a Bahraini acquaintance of mine laconically noted “they planned it".
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