Bahrain: Schools 'need ministry approval' to publish news

Screengrab from Gulf Daily News newspaper Pictures of flooding are said to have prompted the education ministry to act

Schools in Bahrain have been asked to submit any news they want to publish in the local press, or distribute via social media, to the education ministry for approval, it's reported.

Head teachers in the small Gulf state are required to submit "all news and images to the public relations and media department", which will publish them "in line with the policies and directions of the ministry", the Al-Wasat daily quotes the circular as saying. "No school shall be entitled to publish them directly in any media outlet, including Instagram," it continues.

Some people have apparently linked the decision to the proliferation of images showing the condition of schools after heavy rainfall last week. The Gulf Daily News says "scores of pictures" of "water-filled school playgrounds and parents carrying their children to avoid massive puddles" were posted online. Snapshots of the unusual weather and its aftermath can be found on Facebook as well as Instagram.

Bahrain is ranked 165th in the 179-country Press Freedom Index published by the Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders.

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