Detained Economist Journalist Says he Made ‘Mistakes’
A journalist for the British publication The Economist said Wednesday he had been well-treated in jail where he had been held for making "mistakes."
Bahraini Jassem Hussein Ali denied to AFP that his release had anything to do with pressure from human rights organizations, saying he had petitioned Bahrain's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa al-Thani for pardon.
Ali, 41, a father of two, said he had been allowed to return to teaching at Bahrain University and would continue to do work for The Economist.
"I made some mistakes which were punishable by the law," he said, adding that the emir had agreed to give him a second chance.
Saying that he was speaking of his own free will, Ali said that during his detention "the authorities were very friendly and treated me very professionally and very nicely."
A Bahraini lawyer said Tuesday that Ali, who was arrested November 1, was freed "during the visit to Bahrain of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan following pressure from human rights organizations" on Bahraini authorities.
Annan was in Bahrain over the weekend for a two-day visit during which he attended the opening ceremony of a new regional UN office in Manama that will include all of the international body's agencies in the Gulf emirate.
Ali was reportedly questioned over his links with The Economist Intelligence Unit, a business information provider that is part of The Economist group.
The Geneva-based World Organization Against Torture said that the journalist was arrested at his home near Manama and searched by security services, who took all his documents and computer disks.
Ali, who graduated in business studies in the United States, is a specialist in socio-economic issues in the Gulf -- NICOSIA (AFP)
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