Bahrain uses political isolation laws against political opponents: rights group
Earlier this month, a Bahrain court sentenced eight anti-government activists to death
By News Desk - October 31 2022

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A report that came out on 21 October, entitled “You Can’t Say Bahrain is a Democracy: Bahrain’s Political Isolation Laws” highlights Bahrain’s use of political isolation in 2018, by preventing political opponents and activists from serving on boards of civil institutions and running for parliament seats.

The report sheds light on how the Bahraini government targets marginalized opposition figures in social, political, civic, and economic sectors, most of whom have their civil rights violated, and stresses that Manama should repeal its political isolation laws, ending practices that violate human rights.

These practices include Bahraini courts and authorities denying legal counsel to political opponents that can be convicted without viable evidence or cause, which has resulted in the government neglecting the political and civil rights of Bahraini citizens.

The report also urges that Manama should reinstate previously dissolved political associations, lift restrictions on opponent figures running for parliamentary and municipal elections, and end “restrictive measures” that are a detriment to civil associations. It calls for the US, UK, and EU countries to pressure Bahrain to end its suppressive political tactics.

Earlier this month, a Bahrain court sentenced eight anti-government activists to death, according to a report by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and Human Rights Watch.

In the report, BIRD remarked that the government in Bahrain regularly violates the defendants’ rights to fair trials, preventing them from accessing legal counsel during interrogation sessions and the right to cross-examine prosecution witnesses.

The report added that most mistreatment cases of prisoners in the country occur in two locations, the Criminal Investigation Directorate of the Ministry of Interior and the Royal Academy of Policing.

According to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), Bahrain is the Arab country with the most political prisoners.

“Bahrain in the last decade or so, has arrested nearly 15 thousand people for their political views,” reads the report.

The human rights organization reports that Bahrain had become the number one “Arab country with the highest number of prisoners over the last few years” with a total of 4500 political prisoners living in inhumane conditions, according to the Institute for Criminal Policy Research.

The prisoner files and testimonies of the BCHR, available on its website, confirm the use of severe physical and psychological torture.

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