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.
06 November 2015 – London, The Bahraini authorities should release prominent academic, activist and blogger Dr Abduljalil al-Singace immediately and unconditionally and cease all judic... Read more
5 November 2015 – Geneva, Switzerland – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has officially declared Sheikh Ali Salman, the prominent leader of Bahrain’s oppo... Read more
Evidence of presidency hopeful Sheikh Salman’s close links to human rights crackdown submitted to Fifa 3 November 2015, London – Bahrain NGOs today submitted evidence to the Fifa... Read more
On 2 November 2013, two French journalists were assassinated in Mali. The United Nations chose that date to proclaim the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. The... Read more
31 October 2015 – Construction began today on Britain’s new Royal Navy base in Bahrain, despite ongoing controversies. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Foreign Minister Sheik... Read more
Last year marked the first general elections to be held in Bahrain since the pro-democracy uprising of 2011. Since the election, which has been named amongst the worst elections in 2014 alo... Read more
Dr Abduljalil al-Singace hunger strike hits 160 days, 41 NGOs call for immediate release 27 August 2015, London – Bahraini prisoner of conscience Dr Abduljalil al-Singace today hits a milest... Read more
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) express concern over the... Read more
Since 2011, students and children in Bahrain have faced arbitrary charges and detention related to their freedoms of expression and assembly. Some have been arrested for participating in pro... Read more