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.
London, 27 March 2019— Ahead of the 2019 Grand Prix on Sunday, leading global NGOs and trade unions including members of the Sport and Rights Alliance sent a joint letter to the President of... Read more
21 March 2019 – Yesterday, the Bahraini Embassy in London published a string of tweets including the correspondence between the Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights... Read more
19 March 2019 – Six UN experts have expressed “serious concerns” for three Bahraini human rights defenders who have been routinely targeted by the Bahraini Government for their human r... Read more
13 March 2019 – Today, Bahrain’s Lower Criminal Court sentenced former opposition leader Ebrahim Sharif to six-month imprisonment and a 500 BD fine to suspend the execution of the sent... Read more
6 March 2019 – Formula One has been accused of shirking responsibility in the case of Bahraini female activist Najah Yusuf, who was beaten, sexually abused and jailed for criticising the reg... Read more
25 February 2019– Today, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld the three-year sentence against family members of human rights defender, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, who have now exhausted all l... Read more
13 February 2019 – On Monday 11 February, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) held a parliamentary event to mark the 8th anniversary of the Bahraini uprisings. At the... Read more
11 February 2019 – Bahraini refugee footballer, Hakeem AlAraibi is set to return to his home in Australia tonight after a Thai Court ruled that his extradition case be dropped. The dec... Read more
8 February 2019 – A group of 19 Parliamentarians from all parties have urged the UK Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP to call for the “immediate and unconditional release” of Bah... Read more
7 February 2019 – Bahrain’s Fourth High Criminal Court issued prison sentences against 11 individuals, including female political activist Zakeya AlBarboori, and stripped them of their... Read more