This website blocked in Bahrain 24 hours after launch

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The message people in Bahrain receive when trying to access this website
We launched this website on Saturday afternoon, to offer a central space for news and information about current events in Bahrain ahead of tomorrows Tamarrod protests. Within 24 hours hours of our launch, we began receiving messages from Bahrainis telling us that the site had been blocked in Bahrain. Despite the best efforts of a technical assistant, we have been unable to provide a working link for those inside Bahrain. As a voluntary project with limited capacity, we sadly lack the means pursue this further.

bahrainaugust14.com therefore joins a long list of websites banned by the Bahrain government, including the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Bahrain Justice and Development Movement, and even at one point the United Nations "WebTV" site. In 2006, the government banned access to Google Earth after activists began circulating satellite images showing the disparity between the palaces and land belonging to the ruling AlKhalifa family, compared with the cramped conditions of many villages. 

Freedom House's report on Net Freedom in Bahrain in 2012 claims that "today over 1,000 websites are blocked, including individual pages on certain social-networking sites". This number is now even higher as last week, the Ministry for Communication Affairs announced that it was banning dozens more websites which it claimed were "affiliated with internationally recognized organizations that fund and promote terrorism". Amongst them was opposition media site Feb14media.com.

The banning of this website also occurs at a time when the Bahrain government is cracking down hard against citizen journalists, whilst also preventing human rights defenders, journalists - and even tourists who are writers - from entering the country. Amira Asad is one such case who tried to enter Bahrain as a tourist yesterday. The authorities refused her entry and told her that anyone who is a writer or a journalist needs "special permission" from the Ministry of Interior. For more on the perennial problem of denying entry to journalists, see "Access Denied" by Bahrain Watch.

2 comments:

@garrigaj said...

You can use TOR or PirateBrowser to bypass the Bahraini government's censorship. I know TOR has Arabic language instructions, although I am uncertain about PirateBrowser.

Anonymous said...

No worries. I could access the website after using VPN service (I always do to hide my real IP address