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THE RIGHT TO KNOW

MANAMA: Free- dom of speech is sacrosanct and will not be touched, the Premier told leading Bahrain journalists yesterday. Press freedom is the country's first line of defence, he said, vowing to make citizens fully aware of "every movement".

The Prime Minister made his remarks while receiving new board members of the Bahrain Journalists' Association at his majlis in Riffa.

"As long as it is honest and in the national interest, freedom of the Press will not be touched," he pledged.

"Citizens have a right to be kept informed, and the country's openness should be employed in developing investment, promoting tourism and increasing incomes," he said.

He issued directives to government ministers "to continue keeping the local Press informed with what serves the country in order to avoid distortion of information."

He said that the Press was depended on to contribute to achieving the country's development goals.

The Premier stressed that Bahrain has the capacity for even more daily newspapers, thanks to public awareness and an open democratic atmosphere.

Advertising incomes were also increasing.

The majlis was held on international World Press Freedom Day.



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