Harvest of the Profiles in Persecution: Systematic Human Rights Violations in Bahrain

Since the beginning of the popular movement demanding reform and democracy in Bahrain in 2011, the government has suppressed all forms of peaceful movements by all means and without any restraint. Repression has become a prevailing approach in the country, and prisons have been filled with prisoners of conscience, political prisoners, and human rights activists.

Since its inception, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) has been working to monitor and document the violations against these victims. These cases have been published in a series for seven years since 2017, every week under the title “Profiles in Persecution”. The documented cases have shown a systematic pattern of violations against political prisoners in Bahrain, starting from the moment of summons and arrest and continuing through interrogation, investigation, trials, and issuance of sentences, and does not end even after their release. In light of this pattern of systematic violations, the absence and failure of government institutions to fulfill their designated roles have become evident. These institutions were assigned to monitor, document, and independently investigate violations and torture allegations. Instead, their role has been limited to whitewashing violations and promoting alleged prison reforms.

This release includes a comprehensive summary of ADHRB’s work in documenting the cases of prisoners of conscience in Bahrain within the “Profiles in Persecution” section. It includes information, statistics, and graphics based on comprehensive documentation and clear narratives in this weekly series over the years, which has reached 284 cases as of the publication date of this file.

The work on this report was conducted between December 2023 and February 2024. It includes updates regarding recent releases following a royal decree issued on 8 April 2024, granting amnesty to 1,584 prisoners, including dozens of political prisoners. Furthermore, it incorporates information about recent releases under the decision issued on 9 April 2024 by the General Directorate of Verdict Enforcement and Alternative Sentencing, which replaced the sentences of 210 prisoners with alternative sanctions and included 47 prisoners in the ‘Open Prisons’ program.

ADHRB considers this decision a first step towards the demand for cleaning prisons but believes it will remain incomplete unless followed by additional steps to improve the human rights situation in the country. This includes stopping systematic violations affecting a large segment of Bahraini society exercising their right to freedom of expression and demanding democracy, as well as ending violations inside prisons and the prevalence of the culture of impunity among officials. ADHRB emphasizes that true reform begins with the removal of the Minister of Interior, who is directly responsible for all these violations, and conducting a transparent investigation into the violations leading to the accountability of those responsible for torture.


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Harvest of the PiPs in Bahrain.docx