First Published: 2017-03-22

Bahrain arrests photographer on unspecified charges
Mohammed Al-Shaikh, prize-winning local photojournalist, detained at Manama airport late Tuesday on his return from trip overseas.
Middle East Online

Bahraini protesters seen during demonstration in solidarity with jailed photographers

MANAMA - Bahraini authorities have arrested a former Agence France-Presse photographer in Manama on unspecified charges, sources close to him said Wednesday.

Mohammed Al-Shaikh, a prize-winning local photojournalist who worked for AFP in Bahrain for several years, was detained at Manama airport late Tuesday on his return from a trip overseas.

The authorities did not immediately give a reason for his arrest.

AFP management expressed its "most serious concern" for the journalist's well-being, calling on Bahraini authorities to explain as soon as possible why he had been detained.

Al-Shaikh won the 2014 Bayeux-Calvados prize for his coverage of events in the tiny Gulf kingdom, rocked from 2011 onwards by an Arab Spring-inspired uprising and ensuing crackdown.

Rights groups regularly criticise the Sunni-ruled kingdom over its harsh treatment of dissenters.

Last year saw a further tightening of restrictions on journalists. Authorities refused to issue visas or renew accreditations for reporters working for foreign outlets.

Al-Shaikh's accreditation expired in August last year and authorities refused to renew it, putting an end to his Bahrain coverage after more than four years with AFP.

Nazeeha Saeed, a journalist working for France 24 and Arabic radio station Monte Carlo Doualiya, is currently on trial for working "without the necessary authorisation".


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