Newsletter #144


State Department Commemorates 5th Anniversary by Calling for More Reforms

On 17 February, the US Department of State (DoS) issued a statement commemorating the fifth anniversary of Bahrain’s pro-democracy uprising in 2011. The statement highlights ongoing US concerns regarding “limitations on peaceful assembly, political activism, and the criminalization of freedom of expression” since the uprising. DoS calls on the Bahraini government to work with the opposition to move forward with reforms, including “the release of opposition figures like Ibrahim Sharif and Sheikh Ali Salman.””

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Updates from the Ground

  • Authorities arrested 31 individuals, including 6 children. The majority of arrests were carried out during house raids.
  • Bahrain’s MOI stated that it has interrogated children aged 9 to 14 years in the specialized Terrorism Prosecution and detained some of them in the Juvenile detention center.
  • Criminal and appeals courts altered, upheld convictions, and sentenced 31 individuals to more than 172 years in prison. Courts postponed the trials of 11 individuals.
  • A Bahraini court amended the sentence of AlWefaq’s Majeed Milad to one year in prison for inciting disobeying the law following a speech he delivered.
  • The high criminal court sentenced the owners of Twitter handles @AbuKhamis and @HajiAhmed to five years in prison. Both were convicted over tweets criticizing the war in Yemen.
  • The Minister of Interior announced additional measures to “organize” Shia religious processions including setting days, times and places they’re held.

Noteworthy News

Bahraini Sheikh Mohammed Khojasta deported after citizenship revoked

February 14 Anniversary Round-up

Bahrain’s Public Prosecution summons six-year-old child for investigation

Bahrain quickly releases US journalists, but local reporters remain imprisoned 


Saudi Arabia & Other Gulf States

ADHRB and 12 NGOs Demand Release of Ali al-Nimr

Marking the fourth anniversary of Ali al-Nimr’s arrest, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain and 11 other NGOs demand that Saudi Arabia repeal the death penalty against Ali al-Nimr and all other protesters who were arrested as minors, including Dawood Hussein al-Marhoon and Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher.

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Noteworthy News

Enough platitudes, John Kerry – it is time the US got tough with Saudi Arabia

UN Experts Condemn Detention and Trial of Foreign Nationals in the UAE

One Week Until Trial of Salim al-Aradi and the al-Darats in the UAE

Impending Execution of al-Nimr

Projected Increase of Bangladeshi Migrant Workers in Qatar

Saudi Women are Separated in Council

Arrests for Free Expression in the UAE and Oman

European Parliament Resolution on Yemen Conflict

Sri Lankan Workers Return Home after Abuse in GCC

Oman Passes a Law Forbidding More African Domestic Workers


Are you a victim of a human rights abuse in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or other GCC states?

Document your case with the Special Procedures of the United Nations through ADHRB’s UN Complaint Program.

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