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International Organizations Report

No Justice in Bahrain Unfair Trials in Military and Civilian Courts


Nearly four weeks of massive pro-democracy demonstrations in Bahrain ended in March 2011 when state security forces under the command of the ruling Al Khalifa family launched a comprehensive crackdown on the protest movement. A central element of the crackdown was the establishment by royal decree on March 15 of a three-month “State of National Safety,” akin to a state ...

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For a Better Life Migrant Worker Abuse in Bahrain and the Government Reform Agenda


After the first time she hurt me it came to my mind that I want to go back to the Philippines. But then I thought if I go back to the Philippines, what will happen to my family? I cannot support them if I’m back there. But it was too late. Every day madam beat me. –Maria C., migrant domestic ...

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“Interfere, Restrict, Control” Restraints on Freedom of Association in Bahrain


Civic engagement and political activism have long played an important role in Bahrain, a Gulf nation 30 kilometers off the coast of Saudi Arabia that is home to some 1.2 million people. Since independence from Britain in 1971, social, cultural, and sports clubs, as well as civil and professional organizations, have been pivotal in shaping political debate. With political groups ...

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Criminalizing Dissent, Entrenching Impunity Persistent Failures of the Bahraini Justice System Since the BICI Report


In July 2011, the ruler of Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa established the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), comprising five international jurists, headed by Cherif Bassiouni. BICI was charged with investigating allegations of human rights abuses in connection with the government’s suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations that erupted in February 2011. On November 23, 2011, BICI released an ...

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“The Blood of People Who Don’t Cooperate” Continuing Torture and Mistreatment of Detainees in Bahrain


In early 2011, simmering political tensions peaked with largely peaceful demonstrations in which thousands of Bahrainis called for substantial democratic reforms. Authorities responded with lethal force, resulting in 20 deaths, including five from torture in detention. They arrested over 1,600 people who participated in, or were suspected of supporting, the demonstrations, and held most detainees in incommunicado detention for weeks, ...

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Bahrain: Torture Allegations Expose Sham Reforms


(Beirut) – Credible and consistent allegations of torture and mistreatment of detainees in Bahrain during 2015 undermined claims of reform, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. The Bahraini government and its allies, chiefly the United Kingdom, have contended that new institutions established by Bahrain are effectively protecting detainees from abuse during interrogation. Authorities prosecuted rights activists ...

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