Newsletter #143

Bahrain | Updates from the Ground | News & Opinion
UN Complaint Program


Bahrain’s five-year plan of repression

On the fifth anniversary of Bahrain’s pro-democracy uprising, ADHRB’s Kate Kizer and Michael Payne describe how the government has gradually institutionalized the methods of violence and intimidation that it first used to suppress demonstrations in February 2011. Moreover, they argue that this trend is leading Bahrain toward what could possibly become an intractable political crisis: “five years on from the original uprising, security forces may not be responding with the same level of direct violence that left at least 80 protesters dead between 2011 and the end of 2013. But with each passing year, and each slew of politically motivated arrests, the government of Bahrain has created more and more flashpoints for unrest.”

Read more…


More from ADHRB

NGOs condemn violence against protesters on fifth anniversary of Bahrain’s peaceful uprising
NGOs commemorate the five-year anniversary of Bahrain’s peaceful uprising
Voices from the Ground: February 14
Champions for Justice: Bahrain’s Pro-democracy Movement

14 February Anniversary Event Updates

Event Summary – Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Briefing on Bahrain: Repression and the Consequences for Reconciliation
On 11 February 2016, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC), in conjunction with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) and Human Rights First (HRF), held a briefing in the Hart Senate Office Building on the ongoing human rights situation in Bahrain. Panelists included Brian Dooley, Director of the Human Rights Defenders Program at HRF, Maryam Al-Khawaja, Bahraini human rights defender and the co-director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), and Kate Kizer, US Advocacy Officer for ADHRB. Read the full summary of the event here.

Event Summary – Rebuild the Roundabout protest
On 12 February 2016, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) held a protest outside the Bahraini Embassy in Washington, DC to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 2011 pro-democracy demonstrations in Bahrain.The protest included a 12-foot inflatable Pearl Roundabout,  a recreation of the monument in Manama that became a symbol for the 2011 pro-democracy movement, and which the Bahraini authorities later demolished. Husain Abdulla, ADHRB’s executive director, Maryam al-Khawaja, co-director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), Matar Matar, former Bahraini MP, and Brian Dooley, director of the Human Rights Defenders Program at Human Rights First (HRF) delivered remarks during the rally. Read the full even summary here.

Event Summary – Failure to Reform: 5 Years of Dissent in Bahrain
On 10 February, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) in cooperation with Reprieve, Index on Censorship and the LSE Middle East Society held an event at the House of Commons to discuss the UK Foreign Office technical assistance to Bahrain. Read the full summary of the event here.

Updates from the Ground

  • Authorities arrested at least 89 individuals, including 30 children. Four American journalists were among the arrested, although they were later released after being charged.
  • Criminal and appeals courts altered, upheld convictions, and sentenced 7 individuals to more than 53 years in prison.
  • Courts postponed the trials of 99 individuals.
  • Authorities suppressed at least 33 demonstrations

Click here for the full report.


News and Opinion

How Bahrain’s crushed uprising spawned the Middle East’s sectarianism
Justin Gengler argues that the Bahraini government’s suppression of the pro-democracy movement in 2011 was a turning point for the Arab Spring because it marked not only the first mass demonstration to be violently quelled, but also because its repression sparked the “poisonous sectarian and other factional conflicts that have since escaped beyond the Arab Gulf to consume a greater part of the Middle East and North Africa.”   Read More

Bahrain Charges, Releases Anna Day and 3 Other American Journalists
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the arbitrary arrest of four US journalists in Bahrain on 14 February. They were there to cover the fifth anniversary of the 2011 protests in Bahrain. RSF is relieved to learn of that the four journalists have since been released. Read More

Bahrain’s Government Continues to Strangle Dissent Five Years After Uprising Began
Batool al-Musawi writes that five years after the eruption of what came to be known as the “Arab Spring” protests that spilled over from Tunisia, Bahrain’s regime continues to lock up opposition leaders, sending a message of its refusal to reform or change. Read More

Five years after Bahrain’s revolution, five new ways to protest
Erin Kilbride lists five new ways in which Bahraini pro-democracy activists and their supporters are protesting government repression on the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising.  Read More

Arabic Sources

AFP: Bahrain under pressure 5 years after the start of the protest movement
Please click here for a PDF of this article in English.


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