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 June 2019 – Social media giant Twitter joined civil society in expressing its concern for the Bahraini government’s recent declaration that it will crack down on critical online post... Read more
7 June 2019 – The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) diminished the human rights deterioration in Bahrain in its 2018 report on human rights and democracy priorities, labelling it a... Read more
1 May 2019 – Yesterday, President Macron of France received King Hamad of Bahrain at the Palace Elysee in Paris. Following the meeting, palace staff released an official press release... Read more
30 April 2019 – The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) wrote to President Macron urging him to address human rights concerns during tomorrow’s meeting with the King of B... Read more
The health of two prominent Bahraini political prisoners has deteriorated as prison officials continue to deny them access to appropriate medical care. 71-year-old political opposition leade... Read more
2 April 2019 – The Bahraini Embassy in London replied to the media publicity on the case of female political Najah Yusuf, by issuing a statement on Twitter including fabricated eviden... Read more
27 March 2019 – Today, Human Rights Watch (HRW) hosted a conference calling on Formula 1 and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) to visit Bahraini political prisoner Na... Read more
London, 27 March 2019— Ahead of the 2019 Grand Prix on Sunday, leading global NGOs and trade unions including members of the Sport and Rights Alliance sent a joint letter to the President of... Read more
21 March 2019 – Yesterday, the Bahraini Embassy in London published a string of tweets including the correspondence between the Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights... Read more