Rights Group On Bahrain Denying Journo Visas: ‘Hallmark Of A Repressive Regime’ | Bahrain denied visas to reputable international journalists seeking to cover the anniversary of pro-democracy protests and the subsequent brutal crackdown aided by a Saudi-led Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) military force. The government denied visas to journalists from the New York Times (notably including Nicholas Kristof, who was detained by Bahrain last year), the BBC, the Wall Street Journal and other outlets. “This is the hallmark of a repressive regime — not allowing journalists into the country,” Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley told the L.A. Times. Two local journalists — Karim Fakhrawi and Zakariya Rashid Hassan al-Ashiri — died within a week of each other last April at the height of the uprising, with the authorities suspected in their deaths. The journalism advocacy group Reporters Without Borders ranked Bahrain 173 of 179 nations on its press freedom index for 2011, 29 spots lower than its 2010 ranking.