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.
10 July 2015 – The European Parliament yesterday passed an Urgency Resolution calling for an EU-wide ban on tear gas and crowd control equipment to Bahrain and for the immediate release of N... Read more
16 June 2015 – The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Americans for Democracy for Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) strong... Read more
13.April.2015 – We in the Bahrain and international human rights NGO community condemn the arrest and detention of Nabeel Rajab, a prominent human rights defender in the Kingdom of Bahrain.... Read more
Paying tribute to the 20th anniversary of the historic Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action that reaffirmed the fundamental human rights of all women, the United Nations Office of the... Read more
20 January 2015 – Today, a Bahraini court sentenced human rights activist Nabeel Rajab to six months in prison on a conviction related to a tweet he published in September 2014. Rajab was al... Read more
19 January 2015 – On 20 January, a verdict is expected in the trial of Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini activist and internationally recognized human rights defender. President of th... Read more
15 January 2015 – This week, 16 human rights organisations have written to 47 States to express grave concern ahead of a 20 January verdict in the trial of Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini... Read more