Bahrain’s human rights climate continued to deteriorate. Courts convict and imprison peaceful dissenters, including prominent human rights defenders and opposition leaders, and file trumped-up charges against their relatives. Security forces use excessive force to disperse peaceful assemblies. Police forces and officers at the National Security Agency ill-treat, threaten, and coerce alleged suspects into signing confessions. Authorities have failed to hold officials accountable for torture. Courts have stripped the citizenship of hundreds of citizens and deported dozens of them, including dissidents, journalists, and lawyers, as punishments for offenses that, in reality, include peaceful opposition to, or criticism of, the government. Authorities in 2017 shut down the only remaining independent newspaper in the country.