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.
26 January 2017 – In the early hours of 26 January 2017, Bahraini security forces fired live ammunition at protesters in Diraz, Bahrain. The security forces shot 18-year-old Mustafa Ahmed Ha... Read more
17 January 2017 – Bahrain’s Ministry of Information Affairs (MIA) yesterday issued an order to suspend the only independent newspaper in the country, Alwasat, from using electronic med... Read more
On 16 January 2017, a Bahraini court will begin hearing the trial of the correspondent for Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya and France24, Nazeeha Saeed, who was was charged on 17 July 2016 with “p... Read more
5 January 2017 – Nabeel Rajab’s pre-trial detention was renewed for a further 15 days by the Public Prosecution today according to Nabeel’s lawyer. The president of the Bah... Read more
Bahrain’s Prosecution reimprisoned Nabeel Rajab after Court-Ordered his Release 28 December 2016 – The Government of Bahrain ordered the provisional release of human rights defe... Read more
21 December 2016 – Bahraini authorities have today interrogated imprisoned human rights defender Nabeel Rajab on allegations stemming from a letter he recently published in the French... Read more
20 December 2016 H.E. Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Palais Wilson 52 rue des Pâquis CH-1201 Geneva Switzerland CC: David Kaye, Special Rapporte... Read more
14 December 2016 – NGOs today wrote a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May to urge the UK Government to call for the unconditional release of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, who fa... Read more
12 December 2016 – An appeals court today upheld the arbitrary 9-year sentence against opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman following an extended and flawed re-trial. The Bahraini government... Read more
The following letter was sent to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion. We, the undersigned human rights organizations, are deeply concerned by the continued targeting of in... Read more