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.
12 November 2018 – Today, Bahrain’s Fourth High Criminal Court sentenced four individuals to death on charges related to terrorism, three of them being tried in absentia. The charges r... Read more
9 November 2018 – 20 Parliamentarians expressed their serious concerns over the legitimacy of the upcoming elections for the Council of Representatives of Bahrain’s National Assembly i... Read more
7 November 2018 – Yesterday, Lib-Dem peer Lord Scriven wrote an open letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) expressing his “extreme disappointment” in their weak response... Read more
18 October 2018 – Today, 9 NGOs including the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), wrote to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Experts, urging them to publi... Read more
15 October 2018 – The Fourth High Criminal Court handed prison sentences to seven Bahraini nationals and revoked the citizenship of six over terrorism charges related to the bombing of... Read more
8 October 2018 – Today, Nabeel Rajab received a diploma for reaching the final shortlist of candidates for the Council of Europe’s Václav Havel Human Rights Prize in Strasbourg. Nabeel... Read more
4 October 2018 – Yesterday, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) received a phone call from Isa Town Prison. In this phone call, inmates Hajer Mansoor, Medina Ali and Najah... Read more
3 October – Yesterday afternoon at 16:00, Bahraini activist Ali Mushaima ended his protest outside the Bahrain embassy in Knightsbridge, London. For the first 44 days of his protest Al... Read more
19 September 2018 – On 16 September, female political prisoner Hajer Mansoor Hassan, mother-in-law of UK-based activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, was subjected to assault and retaliation,... Read more
10 September 2018 – Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior Ombudsman’s Office – the chief oversight mechanism for the police and prison system – released its findings on 7 Se... Read more