Since June 2016, Bahrain has rapidly deteriorated into a full-blown human rights crisis. The authorities have dramatically stepped up their clampdown on freedom of expression. They have subjected over 160 peaceful critics to arrest, prosecution and imprisonment, as well as other forms of harassments. Those particularly targeted have been human rights defenders and political activists, as well as lawyers, journalists and Shi’a clerics. Credible reports indicate that security forces have subjected several of them to torture or other ill-treatment in custody. The authorities have also targeted Bahraini activists residing outside Bahrain, subjecting their families to interrogation and prosecution in reprisal for their relatives’ human rights activities or participation in protests abroad.
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