PARIS — Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) added Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa to its latest blacklist of “predators” against press freedom on Tuesday.
The king entered the watchdog’s list of 38 state “predators” that “sow terror among journalists”, which included three Arab countries hit by recent protests — Syria, Bahrain, Yemen — and Libya, where conflict has broken out.
RSF said journalists were killed in each of these countries, citing cases including that of Karim Fakhrawi, a Bahraini journalist close to the opposition, who died in detention.
Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia were no longer on this list after they were driven from power in revolutions this year.
The watchdog said crackdowns were under way by authorities in countries including China that fear “contagion” from the wave of pro-democracy protests in the Arab world.
The list also includes warlords and armed entities such as the Israeli armed forces, the forces of Hamas in Gaza and the Basque armed group ETA.