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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The view from Manama airport

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Things have been tense and smoky in Bahrain since troops from several GCC countries entered earlier this week.

Yesterday, Bahraini police cracked down on protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets, sweeping away tents near Pearl roundabout and instituting a 4pm to 4am curfew.  

This morning, at least two opposition leaders have been arrested, ”including one man who had been laying the groundwork toward negotiations with the government over the political crisis that has convulsed this country for more than a month,” the Washington Post reports.

Journalists were not immune to yesterday’s crackdown.

Members of the Bahraini National Guard arrested, though later released, Doha-based Wall Street Journal reporter Alex Delmar-Morgan as he walked towards Pearl Square (shown above).

Authorities asked Mohammed Jamjoom of CNN, who is based in Abu Dhabi, to leave Bahrain yesterday without explanation. Other members of the team in Manama were allowed to say.

Several journalists were also barred from entering Manama yesterday, including Doha News’ Omar Chatriwala, who returned to Qatar last night after several hours in limbo at the Manama airport.

Read his report, told in tweets with the help of Storify, here, or see below.

Netizens have been sparring on Twitter over the accuracy of reports of what’s going on in Bahrain.

But for journalists stuck at the airport, the view looks dubious. Why bar people from observing and reporting on events if the government doesn’t have anything to hide?

What do you think?

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