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Information Affairs Authority
The Information Affairs Authority (IAA) is Bahrain's ministry of information that was formed in July 2010. The president of IAA is appointed directly by the King of Bahrain and has the rank of a minister in the Bahrain government.[1][2] From July 2010 to 2012, Fawaz bin Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa was President of IAA.[1][2] In 2012, he relinquished the position to take up an appointment as Minister of State for Communication, and Sameera Rajab was appointed in his place.
Information Affairs Authority
هيئة شؤون الإعلام
Agency overview
Formed8 July 2010; 11 years ago
Preceding agency
Ministry of Culture and Information
JurisdictionGovernment of Bahrain
HeadquartersIsa Town
26°9′49.39″N​50°33′13.58″E
Minister responsible
Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of IAA
Deputy Minister responsible
Sameera Rajab, Minister of State for Information
Child agencies
Website
www.iaa.bh
Responsibilities
The responsibilities of IAA include:[3]
IAA is also the press pass issuing authority.
History
It was formed in July 2010 by a decree of King Hamad splitting off the information portfolio of the Ministry of Culture and Information.[1][4] Prior to the creation of IAA, the information function was performed by Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa as part of the Ministry of Culture and Information.
In April 2012, Sameera Rajab, an outspoken supporter of Saddam Hussein, and cousin of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, was appointed[5] Minister of Information Affairs in the Bahraini government.[6][7] In 2016, Ali bin Mohammed Al Rumaihi was appointed Minister of Information Affairs.[8]
Independence
The first president of IAA, between 2010 and 2012, was Fawaz bin Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa,[1][2] who is a member of the Al Khalifa ruling family and a cousin of King Hamad and the current Prime Minister of Bahrain, Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. Prior to being appointed president of IAA, Fawaz served as the president of General Organisation for Youth and Sports.
Fawaz's father, Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, served as Bahrain's Interior Minister from 1973 until 2004.[citation needed]
Criticism
In 2011, the Information Affairs Authority came under criticism for its handling of the Bahraini uprising. According to the report issued in November 2011 by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry:
Having reviewed a selection of material from national television, radio and print media relating to the events of February/March 2011, the Commission notes that much of this material contained derogatory language and inflammatory coverage of events, and some may have been defamatory. However, the Commission did not find evidence of media coverage that constituted hate speech. The Commission also identified numerous examples of defamation, harassment and, in some cases, incitement through social media websites. Both pro- and anti-government journalists were targeted through social media. The Commission notes that six of the seven daily newspapers are pro-government and the broadcasting service is state- controlled. There is also sufficient evidence to suggest that the [Government of Bahrain] exercised censorship over local media outlets. The lack of adequate access to mainstream media creates frustration within opposition groups and results in these groups resorting to other media outlets such as social media. This can have a destabilising effect because social media outlets are both untraceable and unaccountable, even in extreme cases where they promulgate hate speech and incitement to violence.[9](p410)
The IAA was also criticized by Index on Censorship for its attempts to justify media censorship in Bahrain.[10]
Notable people in the IAA
References
  1. ^ a b c d "His Majesty issues decrees". Gulf Daily News. 9 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Decree No 33 of the Year 2010 on the Appointment of the President of the Information Affairs Authority". Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Bahrain. 8 July 2010. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Bahrain establishes new information authority". AMEinfo.com. 11 July 2010.
  4. ^ "Decree No 31 of the Year 2010 on the Renaming of the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Establishment of the Information Affairs Authority". Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Bahrain. 8 July 2010. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  5. ^ Mekhennet, Souad (19 August 2013). "Lifting the Veil With Souad Mekhennet: Bahrain's Iron Lady". thedailybeast. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  6. ^ Murphy, Dan (25 April 2012). "After Formula One scrutiny, Bahrain hires a fan of Saddam Hussein to improve its image". Christian Science Monitor.
  7. ^ Wehrey, Frederic (31 May 2012). "The March of Bahrain's Hardliners". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In late April, it appointed Samira Rajab, a polarizing figure who has praised Saddam Hussein and whose anti-Shia statements have aroused the ire of the opposition, as information minister.
  8. ^ HM King issues royal decree forming the cabinet
  9. ^ Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (PDF) (Report). Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. 23 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority responds to Index". Index on Censorship. 31 January 2010.
External links
Official website
Last edited on 31 March 2021, at 07:11
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