NY Times Reporters briefly detained, tear gassed
On 09 Dec 2011, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof was detained by police while covering a protest in Bahrain on Friday. Kristof and his videographer, Adam Ellick, were held in two separate police cars as tear gas was fired on protesters. The two journalists were also tear gassed. The camera man Adam was roughly handled. His camera damaged. Bahrain Authority denied the whole incident. said that the reporter has "sough police protection" and he was not arrested. Mentioned only one person.
Ministry of Interior: "Police Media Director: The Correspondent of the New York Times wasn't arrested and he sought police protection"
Both Kristof and Ellick somehow managed to hang on to their mobile devices and tweeted about the incident while it was going on. Read how the detention unfolded.
Atlantic Wire posted this summary of tweets: Kristof tweeted that the police had put him in the car after he and other protesters were tear gassed, and he said, "not sure if I'm being detained or protected." (Seems like the latter, since he followed up to say they offered him water and "felt very awkward.") Either way, he took it as an opportunity to get some reporting done, getting some answers on why police use violence against protesters, who are out in force to protest the government's alleged human rights abuses during earlier uprisings. He's since been released after a senior officer arrived, and he's back to tweeting about the clashes. We're sure we'll be reading all about the incident in a column this weekend, and as always, we've got to commend it to Kristof for not just sitting in his New York office tapping out columns. (We also had to chuckle a bit when he tweeted, "Boy, if I were them [the police], I'd take my Blackberry." He clearly hasn't read the news that not even muggers want your Blackberry these days, let alone some policemen in Bahrain.)
Just few days ago , on 7 Dec, same thing happened when Police briefly detained Reuters' photojournalist Hamad Mohamed and EPA/DPA's photojournalist Mazen Mahdi in Daih for about half-hour while they were covering protest in the area. When they were released they were asked to leave the area.
These are clear attempts to hinder the work of journalists in Bahrain and to prevent them from covering the events.