PtG Article 09.05.2017

German journalist barred from entering Bahrain

Without any apparent justification, Bahraini authorities have barred German reporter Robert Kempe, who has written critically about Bahraini sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, from entering the country to attend the FIFA Congress.

German ARD journalist Robert Kempe will not be attending the 67. FIFA Congress which will take place in Bahrain on 11 May. Kempe has been barred from entering the country, German media reports.

In reports on ARD, Kempe has reported critically on Bahraini sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, who is a FIFA vice-president and president of the Asian Football Confederation.

“This is a massive interference with press freedom by the Bahraini authorities,” said ARD Sports Coordinator Axel Balkausky in a press release from WDR. “A free reporting on such events must be guaranteed by FIFA ."

According to WDR, the Bahraini authorities have not justified the entry ban put on Kempe and FIFA has stated that they are unable to assist.

"We regret that our attempts have been unsuccessful," FIFA said in a statement to ARD.

Read the WDR press release (In German)