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.
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
14 December – Today a Liberal Democrat peer wrote to the British Ambassador to Thailand, Brian Davidson, urging him to take immediate action on the case of Bahraini refugee footballer,... Read more
11 December 2018 – The Bahraini court ruling that convicted and sentenced Bahraini refugee footballer, Hakeem AlAraibi, to ten years imprisonment and triggered his detention in Thailand is d... Read more
6 December 2018 – Tomorrow, Bahraini football player Hakeem AlAraibi will be taken to Bangkok Criminal Court (Ratchadaphisek) as Thai immigration authorities decided to proceed with h... Read more
4 December 2018 – Yesterday morning, a Thai court approved a temporary remand to detain Bahraini football player, Hakeem AlAraibi, for 12 days in Bangkok. AlAraibi has been detained si... Read more
29 November 2018 – Today, Bahrain’s Fourth High Criminal Court sentenced two individuals to death on alleged terrorism-related charges, and sentenced three others to between seven year... Read more
27 November 2018 – Today, detained former MP Ali Alasheeri was released on bail having been charged with seeking to “influence the integrity of and confusing the electoral process”. Hi... Read more