Al-Wasat: Newspaper shut down by Bahrain fires staff

Daily sends note to employees saying it had to let them go after Bahrain's rulers ordered it closed earlier this month.

    Al-Wasat had some 160 staff, including 30 foreigners [Al Wasat]
    Al-Wasat had some 160 staff, including 30 foreigners [Al Wasat]

    A prominent independent newspaper in Bahrain earlier shut down by the government as part of a crackdown on dissent has fired its staff.

    The daily Al-Wasat sent a statement on Saturday to employees saying it had to let them go after Bahrain's rulers ordered it to be closed on June 4.

    "We regret to inform you that the board of directors ... has decided to terminate the employment contracts with the employees," board chairman Adel al-Maskati wrote in English in a message addressed to "all staff".

    Al-Wasat had some 160 staff, including 30 foreigners.

    Crackdown

    Bahrain's information ministry banned Al-Wasat in early June "until further notice" for its "violation of the law and repeatedly publishing information that sows division in society and affects Bahrain's relations with other states," according to BNA state news agency.

    It marked the third time authorities have ordered it to stop publishing a print edition since the island's 2011 Arab Spring protests and comes just after officials briefly banned it in January from publishing online.

    The London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy said the ban on the paper was "the latest in an escalated crackdown on independent civil society".

    The crackdown in Bahrain has seen activists arrested or forced into exile and political parties disbanded, while independent news gathering there has grown more difficult.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.