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Bahrain - May 2, 2012 - 22:43

Last modified: 2 May 2012 19:43

Reuters reports that Bahrain's King Hamad feels that the foreign media is overstating the unrest in Bahrain, thereby contributing to the problem:

King accused foreign media on Wednesday of exaggerating unrest and inciting violence in Bahrain after the Gulf Arab state hosted a Formula One race last month that turned into a public relations headache.

The US ally has been in turmoil since activists launched protests in February 2011 after successful popular revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. The authorities tried to crush the uprising for democratic reforms with martial law and bringing in Saudi troops.

But more than a year later, unrest has not gone away. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to stop dozens who tried to protest in Manama on Tuesday. Activists reported tear gas and birdshot fired in Jidhafs on the edge of the capital on Wednesday in a rally for the release of hunger striker Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.

"It is quite clear that Bahrain has been targeted by purposeful, willful campaigns in some foreign media that sought to distort true facts, instigate violence, sabotage, hatred and hostility among citizens in our united nation," the king said in a speech marking the International Day for Freedom of the Press tomorrow.  

He gave no details on which media he was referring to, but said Bahrain would assure freedom of expression.