Dammam- Bahraini Minister of Information Affairs Ali bin Mohammed al-Rumaihi declared that his country was successfully able to overcome the incidents of 2011 as a result of its wise leadership. Al-Rumaihi praised the role Gulf countries played in supporting Bahrain and helping stabilize the situation.
Al-Rumaihi said that Bahrain has a unique democratic experience since 2011. He said that media has a great opportunity to develop greatly, stressing the importance of developing the Bahraini media to enhance national values.
Al-Rumaihi said that all the incidents in Bahrain were a failed attempt to copy the so-called Arab Spring and were driven by sectarianism and interferences.
The minister told Asharq Al-Awsat during an interview that there was no excuse for the protests especially that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has initiated national reforms.
When asked about the most prominent developments achieved in Bahrain, al-Rumaihi said that democracy developed greatly due to cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities.
According to the minister, Bahrain has a complete system of rights protection through the activation of the role of civil community and the human rights national institution, the formation of the General Secretariat for Complaints, and the initiation of several educational and media programs to enhance national unity.
When asked about terrorist acts in Bahrain over the past five years, al-Rumaihi revealed that investigations discovered the interference of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the so-called Hezbollah.
Al-Rumaihi declared that forty networks and TV channels backed or owned by Iran aimed to create turmoil and division in the Bahraini society.
When asked about media in Bahrain, al-Rumaihi said that Bahrain in a pioneer regionally and internationally as it ranked number one in the Arab world and 27th internationally on the ICT Development index of 2015.
Al-Rumaihi took pride that no journalist has been persecuted or imprisoned and none of the journalistic institutions were closed for expressing their opinion freely.
In response to a question about media cooperation with countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), al-Rumaihi stated that such cooperation is crucial for the media strategy.
Al-Rumaihi praised the role that Saudi Arabia played in the stability and security of the area especially the initiatives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in uniting the Islamic and Arab nation.
The minister declared that Bahrain will highlight several issues and ideas at the Arab Council of Media Ministers, including the Palestinian cause and activating the Arabic Media strategy.
When asked about the absence of ethical responsibilities in media and social media, al-Rumaihi regretted that there is no discipline in Arab media.
He added that many of the Arabic speaking channels target other countries and instigate hatred and division. He explained that social media also plays a role in threatening national security and spreading rumors.
Al-Rumaihi concluded that the primary challenge is to promote tolerance and transparency in media.