Bahrain authorities have blocked an Al Jazeera journalist from entering Manama to cover the 37th annual summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Jamal Elshayyal had applied for all the proper credentials in a timely manner and had followed procedures correctly, according to Al Jazeera. But, when he arrived at the Manama airport, he was denied entry into the country.
Elshayyal explained that an immigration officer eventually informed him that "the Ministry of Information said Al Jazeera was not allowed to cover the event."
This decision seems somewhat bizarre considering Al Jazeera is state-funded by Qatar and the emirate's ruling family. Qatar is one of only six member countries in the GCC.
This also isn't the first time that Bahrain has blocked Al Jazeera from covering a GCC summit. The media network was also blocked from attending the GCC summit seven years ago.
Bahraini officials have not revealed why Al Jazeera was blocked from attending this year's summit nor the previous summit. Al Jazeera has condemned the decision, calling it a "deviation from the normal media protocols of host countries."
Al Jazeera's ban at the GCC summit comes as Qatari authorities have blocked the independent news site Doha News from being viewed within the country. Last week, the emirate's two telecom providers blocked the website, citing licensing issues.
Doha News has rejected the claim that licensing issues were behind the move and is calling this a "clear act of censorship."
Amnesty International highlighted the irony of the Qatari decision, pointing to Al Jazeera and the country's center for promoting global media freedom.
"As the nation that founded the Al Jazeera media network and which hosts a center dedicated to promoting global media freedom, Qatar should be at the forefront of those championing freedom of the press," James Lynch, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Global Issues said in a statement .