In the past three weeks, Bahrain has witnessed unrelenting deterioration, the extent of which has been unseen since 2011. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain will continue to provide updates as the situation unfolds in Bahrain on its Twitter feed @ADHRB.
On 30 May, the Government of Bahrain increased the sentence of Sheikh Ali Salman, the Secretary-General of al-Wefaq, from four to nine years on appeal. Further, human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja was forced into exile. On 12 June, the Government of Bahrain imposed travel bans on at least 10 human rights activists and family members of victims of abuse, thereby preventing them from engaging with the international community. On 13 June, the government re-arrested Nabeel Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, on charges relating to his free expression. On 14 June, the Ministry of Justice suspended Al-Wefaq, the largest opposition party in Bahrain. Over the past week, the government has targeted with intimidation almost a dozen of the country’s top Shia clerics, calling them in for questioning. On 20 June, the government of Bahrain unilaterally revoked the citizenship of Bahrain’s most prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim.
This context, and after systematic and widespread repression, and the imprisoning of all leading political opposition figures and human rights defenders, leaves Bahrain in an extremely tenuous situation. To stay up to date on the latest developments in Bahrain, be sure to check our website and follow us on twitter @ADHRB.