Bahrain has seen some extraordinarily positive developments over the past six months, including the release of all of the country's political prisoners and the return of the country's numerous political exiles. Shortly after a referendum on the National Charter in which both women and men were able to vote, the country's ruler, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, decreed the repeal of the State Security Law of 1974, which allowed arbitrary and incommunicado detention and unfair trials.