The freedom of expression, assembly and association continues to be severely restricted in Bahrain, where human rights defenders, opposition activists and religious leaders face arrest and harassment for speaking out against the government. Both the 2002 Press Law and the 2006 Anti-Terrorism Law, exploiting the law’s broad definition of terrorism, are employed to target the media.
In the country’s most famous freedom of expression case, Nabeel Rajab is charged with criticising the government on social media, for publishing a letter in the New York Times, as well as for criticising the government in a televised interview.
Other high-profile cases of free expression and association include opposition acitivst Ebrahim Sharif, who is charged with “incitement to hatred and contempt of the regime”, Sheikh Ali Salman, who is charged for calling for change of the regime, and Zainab al-Khawaja, who is charged for tearing up a picture of the king.
After the government has partially suspended al-Wasat newspaper, Bahrain’s only independent newspaper, a free media in Bahrain is de facto non existent. Prior government harassment against al-Wasat encompassed intimidation and the prosecution of key staff, one of whom, Karim Kakhrawi, died under torture.
Bahrain has arrested family members of several political prisoners over peaceful protest activity, including father and brother of death row torture survivor Mohammed Ramadhan Three brothers... Read more
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25 March 2021 – A coalition of 61 cross-party UK parliamentarians have written to new F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali urging him to “establish an independent inquiry into abuses” linked to t... Read more
25 March 2021 – New Formula One (F1) CEO Stefano Domenicali should “establish a commission of independent experts to investigate the human rights impact of F1’s activities in Bahrain”... Read more
11 March 2021 – The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in a plenary session today to adopt an urgent resolution condemning human rights abuses in Bahrain, including the incre... Read more
15 rights groups have written to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him to address a severe deterioration of human rights in Bahrain by adopting a rights-based foreign policy towar... Read more