UN: Civilian journalist filming protest in Bahrain shot dead

April 7th, 2012 - 4:35 pm ICT by BNO News  

NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — The United Nations (UN) on Friday called on Bahraini authorities to investigate the death of a citizen journalist who was killed late last month while filming a demonstration.

On March 31, Ahmed Ismael Hassan AlSamadi, 22, was filming the crackdown of security forces on a demonstration in the village of Salmabad, southwest of the capital of Bahrain, Manama, when he was fatally shot.

According to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and Reporters Without Borders, the Interior Ministry confirmed AlSamadi’s death, who regularly filmed and took photographs during demonstrations, a few hours after his arrival to the hospital.

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova underlined that the basic human right of freedom of expression and the freedom of journalists and citizen journalists to cover events are “essential for any society that wants to uphold the principles of democracy and rule of law.”

“I welcome reports that the authorities’ intend to launch an inquiry into this serious event and trust that the culprits will be brought to justice,” Bokova said.

Last month, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) voiced concern over the alleged excessive use of force against protesters, including teargas and rubber bullets, by security forces in the country and called on the Government to investigate the reports.

Renewed clashes in Bahrain between security forces and demonstrators broke out in February, only a year after widespread civil protests first emerged in the country – similar to those seen in the wider Arab Spring movement that led to the toppling of regimes in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen and has led to deadly fighting and humanitarian suffering in Syria.

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