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.
7 January 2020 – Today, Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley MP and Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Scriven, wrote to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, urging him to “make immediate repre... Read more
17 December 2019 – On Sunday, Bahrain’s king marked the country’s National Day by issuing a decree pardoning 269 prisoners. In a separate statement, the government announced that a fur... Read more
22 November 2019- Yesterday, 52 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) delivered a joint-letter condemning the denial of medical treatment to prominent political prisoners in Bahrain to M... Read more
19 November 2019 – Moosa Mohammed has today formally lodged a criminal complaint with the Metropolitan Police Service, alleging his attempted murder by staff at the Bahraini Embassy.... Read more
14 November 2019 – Bahraini refugee footballer Hakeem Al Araibi delivered a letter on 12 November on behalf of imprisoned Bahraini jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts (MMA) champion Moh... Read more
8 November 2019 – Women activists and human rights defenders in Bahrain have been subjected to “serious crimes” including physical and sexual assault while the UK’s policies “enable h... Read more
6 November 2019 – Today marks the 1000th day that political prisoner, Ali AlHajee, has gone without seeing his family. On Monday, Ali sent a letter from Jau Prison, where he is current... Read more
29 October 2019 – Formula One has written to Lib Dem peer Lord Scriven to say they will raise the case of abused activist Najah Yusuf following the release of a damning ruling by the U... Read more
18 October – Yesterday, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR) co-hosted an event at Parliament to highlight... Read more
9 October 2019 – Political Prisoner Ali AlHajee wrote a letter exposing the dire conditions of Bahrain’s Jau prison and the numerous violations prisoners have been facing pertaining t... Read more