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.
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
28 January 2019 – Today, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld the life sentence against the leader of Bahrain’s dissolved opposition party Al-Wefaq, Sheikh Ali Salman, convicted on poli... Read more
23 January 2019 – Two Members of Parliament have requested “urgent intervention” from Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in the case of two Bahraini political prisoners who are entering the... Read more
10 January 2019 – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has formally rebuked Bahrain for taking reprisals against family members of a prominent, London-based,... Read more
20 December 2018 – On Monday 17 December, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) attended an event in Parliament chaired by Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, to commemorate... Read more