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 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
9 October 2019 – Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Scriven has accused Formula One of complicity in the “prolonged and arbitrary detention” of Bahraini activist Najah Yusuf, who was jailed a... Read more
24 September 2019 – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has found the detention of recently-released Bahraini activist Najah Yusuf, who was arrested in April 2017... Read more
17 September 2019 – Bahrain’s High Appeals Court refused to grant a non-custodial sentence to the country’s most prominent human rights defender, Nabeel Rajab, who is currently serving... Read more
16 September 2019 – Political Prisoner Ali Al-Hajee issued a statement last week from Jau Prison exposing the inhumane conditions that he has faced for the past six years and continue... Read more
12 September 2019 – Yesterday, during the 42nd session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and Americans fo... Read more