Second Annual Report Shows Ombudsman Remains Subservient & Unaccountable

Once again, the Bahrain Office of the Ombudsman has released its Second Annual Report on the progress of their complaint program and the state of prisoner and detainee treatment. Like the first report, the statistics on the number of complaints, deaths, and investigations are inconsistent with independently documented numbers, and do not accurately portray the[…]

Waiting on the King: Why Minor Reforms Don’t Signal an Advance for Saudi Women’s Rights

In a limited sign of progress for women’s rights, admittedly rare for patriarchal Saudi Arabia, the passport department within the Saudi Ministry of Interior is drafting regulations that would allow Saudi women greater freedoms to travel without the immediate consent of a male guardian. The new rules challenge current Saudi codes prohibiting women under the[…]

Assessing the Proposed Arab Court on Human Rights

In the wake of his government’s assault on peaceful protests in 2011, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain proposed the Arab Court on Human Rights. As an ostensible effort to demonstrate his commitment to civil and political reform during the pro-democracy uprising, his announcement should have drawn praise from an international community eager to[…]