Bahrain was majorly affected by the Arab uprisings that started in 2011, with a large part of the population demanding political reforms and more inclusion. Political unrest continues in the country to date, while the government suppresses criticism and systematically cracks down on peaceful activists and political opponents.

The rights to freedom of opinion and expression as well as peaceful assembly and association are severely curbed by the Anti-Terrorism Law, the Press Law and certain provisions of the Penal Code. Individuals making use of these rights often fall victim to campaigns of harassment and intimidation, which take the form of arbitrary arrests, trumped-up charges, the stripping of citizenship, and the use of travel bans as a form of reprisal.

The practice of torture continues to be practised systematically by law enforcement officials falling under the authority of the Ministry of Interior, and is used both during interrogation to extract incriminating confessions, and as form of punishment in detention. No independent investigations into allegations of torture are being conducted, and perpetrators of torture go unpunished.

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Country legislation

Penal Code 

Anti-terrorism Law

Public Gatherings Law (AR)

Associations Law (AR)

Press and Publishing Law (AR)

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Human Rights Instruments
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
ICCPR ratified?
ICCPR ratified on
Has the Human Rights Committee individual complaint mechanism been accepted?
Has the second Optional Protocol of the ICCPR (abolition of the death penalty) been ratified?
Human Rights Committee Concluding Observations last issued on
Next Human Rights Committee state report due on
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (UNCAT)
UNCAT ratified?
UNCAT ratified on
Has the Optional Protocol to the UNCAT been ratified?
Has a National Preventive Mechanism against torture been created?
Has the confidential inquiry procedure been accepted?
Committee against Torture (CAT) Concluding Observations last issued on
Next CAT state report due on
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED)
ICPPED ratified?
Human Rights Council
Last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) held on
Next Universal Periodic Review to be held on
Membership of Human Rights Council:

2007 / 2011

National Human Rights Institution
Accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)