[JURIST] Bahraini authorities arrested four US journalists covering the five-year anniversary of the nation’s 2011 uprising and formally charged them on Tuesday. The journalists were charged [BNA report] with unlawful obstruction of vehicles and attending unlawful gatherings for their alleged participation in a riot that attacked police on Sunday. The public prosecutor announced that all four, journalist Anna Therese Day and her three crew members, have been released [BBC report] from custody pending investigation and were permitted to leave the country. After the detention, the police originally stated that the journalists were arrested for providing false information [AP report] that they were tourists. The journalists maintain their innocence on the charges.
Journalism is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, with more than 1,000 journalists killed since 1992 and more than 200 journalists imprisoned [CPJ factsheets]. In November Egyptian officials released human rights activist and journalist Hossam Bahgat after he signed a statement [JURIST report] promising to abide by legal procedures when reporting on matters concerning the Armed Forces. Also in November UN rights experts called on authorities in Iran [JURIST report] to cease arresting, prosecuting and harassing journalists and online activists and to provide a safe space for freedom of expression. In September the Israeli Parliament passed a new law that bans journalists from expressing their opinions [JURIST report] on the county’s public broadcasting network. In August Germany’s acting top federal prosecutor dropped a much-criticized treason investigation [JURIST report] into two prominent journalists working for Netzpolitik.org.