HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN BAHRAIN

In February 2011,

over half of the population of Bahrain began to protest structural inequalities, corruption, oppression, and a lack of government representation. As the opposition leader in Bahrain and the secretary-general of the Haq Movement, Hassan Mushaima played an important role in these protests. In response to this widespread dissent, the Bahraini government, with the support of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Peninsula Shield Force,  dispatched security forces against peaceful protesters. 

This led to thousands of arrests, hundreds of injuries, and dozens of deaths. From athletes to lawyers and students to nurses, the government targeted all who dared express a dissenting voice through targeted media attacks, military trials or home raids.  Subsequently, any person expressing his or her opinion in favour of human rights through various media channels was subject to attacks, house raids, arbitrary detention, judicial harassment, torture, forced disappearance, and even extrajudicial executions by state forces.

Facing growing international pressure, the Government of Bahrain established the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) in July 2011 to investigate government abuses committed during the protests and to recommend legal and policy changes to prevent a recurrence of such events. Their subsequent official report confirmed the excessive and indiscriminate use of force and torture by Bahraini officials. Although the Bahraini government claims that it has fully implemented the majority of BICI’s recommendations following its investigation, independent assessments have found that fewer than five of the BICI recommendations have been fully implemented.

Since the release of the BICI report in 2011, human rights violations and the culture of impunity have continued unabated in Bahrain. Protests remain a nearly daily occurrence, despite being practically outlawed, and critics of the government continue to face harassment and arrest. Reports of torture, ill-treatment, sexual assault and death in detention persist. Existing policies have not yet compelled the Government of Bahrain to honour its stated commitments, nor have they contributed to improving the deteriorating political situation.  

Between 2014 and 2018, twelve Bahraini nationals were sentenced to death after unfair trials and despite credible allegations of coerced confessions. Their names are: Maher Abbas al-Khabbaz, Salman Isa Ali Salman, Hussein Abdullah Khalil Ebrahim, Mohammad Radhi Abdulla Hassan, Sayed Ahmed Fuad Abbas Isa Ahmed Al-Abar, Ali Mahdi Jasim Mohamed, Hussein Ebrahim Ali Hussein Marzooq, Moosa Abdallah Moosa Jafaar, Hussain Abdullah Marhoon Rashid, Zuhair Ebrahim Jasim Abdullah, Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa.

Additionally, female detainees constitute a significant group that have repeatedly endured ill-treatment and torture at the hands of government officials. The lack of accountability in the system fuels a culture of impunity which protects Bahraini officials who perpetrate crimes of torture. 

For this reason, it is crucial to apply more pressure by calling on the Bahraini authorities to end the culture of impunity in the country and to immediately repeal these death sentences and above all, release all political prisoners including, HASSAN MUSHAIMA.

LEARN MORE – WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY

Bahrain: Shouting in the dark | Featured Documentary

Bahrain: An island kingdom in the Arabian Gulf where the Shia Muslim majority are ruled by a family from the Sunni minority. Where people fighting for democratic rights broke the barriers of fear, only to find themselves alone and crushed.