• Bahrain’s human rights record regressed further in key areas in 2013 and the government made little real progress regarding reforms it claimed to pursue. Security forces continued to arrest scores of individuals arbitrarily in towns where anti-government protests regularly take place. High-profile critics of the government remain in jail on charges that relate solely to exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. The judicial system, headed by ruling family members, has yet to hold any senior official responsible for serious human rights violations that have occurred since 2011, including torture-related deaths in detention.
  • This photo of an anti-government protester by Ahmed Al-Fardan won first place in Freedom House's annual photo contest in April 2013.
    Authorities in Bahrain are arbitrarily detaining photographers who have covered protests and convicting them in unfair trials. Four award-winning Bahraini photographers are either in jail or facing criminal charges in what appears to be part of a policy that violates photographers’ right to freedom of expression.

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Reports

Bahrain

  • Jul 11, 2014
    Bahrain should immediately drop charges against two prominent opposition members for meeting with a US diplomat on July 6, 2014. Bahrain should repeal the law that bars leaders of political societies from meeting with foreign diplomats without government permission.
  • Jun 20, 2014
    Authorities in Bahrain are arbitrarily detaining photographers who have covered protests and convicting them in unfair trials. Four award-winning Bahraini photographers are either in jail or facing criminal charges in what appears to be part of a policy that violates photographers’ right to freedom of expression.
  • Jun 11, 2014
    Bahraini investigations into two recent deaths, including a May 22, 2014 incident in which security forces shot and fatally wounded a 14-year-old boy, should be swift, thorough, and impartial. Authorities should prosecute in good faith anyone found responsible for unlawful use of force in that incident as well as the incident on February 23 that left a 28 year old with injuries that led to his death on April 18. His body remains in the mortuary because his family is refusing to sign a death certificate that makes no mention of the gunshot wounds to the head that doctors told them killed him.
  • Jun 2, 2014
    Imagine the following scenario. A young man is arrested by security forces during a street protest. A few days later Ali Saqer dies in custody, his body covered in "blunt force contusions." Two security officers are convicted to 10 years in prison for their role in his death, but an appeals court later cuts their sentence to just two years, because the defendants' actions sought to "preserve the life of detainees, among them the victim." In other words, as they helped beat Ali Saqer to death, the officers in question were actually only trying to keep him alive.
  • May 28, 2014
    Bahrain’s criminal justice system fails to deliver basic accountability and impartial justice, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
  • May 28, 2014
  • May 16, 2014
    The undersigned NGOs remain deeply concerned by ongoing serious human rights violations in Bahrain, including the politically motivated imprisonment of high-profile opposition activists and human rights defenders after grossly unfair trials, continued reports of torture, excessive use of force, regular denial of freedom of association and assembly, and a persistent failure to hold government actors to account for rights violations.
  • May 2, 2014
    King Juan Carlos is visiting Kuwait and Bahrain this week, after Abu Dhabi and Qatar two weeks ago in a series of visits to the gulf region that will also take him to Oman and Saudi Arabia over the next two months. He is traveling with a high-level delegation that includes the ministers of foreign affairs, transport, defense and energy, as well as the heads of some of Spain’s biggest companies.
  • Apr 26, 2014
    Vague provisions of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) joint security agreement raise concerns. Member countries could use the agreement to suppress free expression and undermine privacy rights of citizens and residents.
  • Apr 25, 2014