Bahrain: Widespread pre-election clampdown on political opposition and activists

Ahead of the Bahraini parliamentary election on 24 November, Amnesty International is gravely concerned over the widespread suppression of the political opposition, activists, and civic leaders. Shi’a public figures have been disproportionately targeted in the pre-election clampdown.

Over the past two years, the crackdown in Bahrain has seen the political opposition detained, intimidated and silenced
Devin Kenney, Amnesty International’s Bahrain researcher

“Over the past two years, the crackdown in Bahrain has seen the political opposition detained, intimidated and silenced. We call on the authorities to stop this ongoing and escalating repression and to allow free expression of dissenting voices, including those who oppose the monarchy,” said Devin Kenney, Amnesty International’s Bahrain researcher.

“Bahrain’s international partners and allies cannot remain silent, and must use their influence to pressure the Bahraini authorities to adhere to the international standards they have committed to.”

Since mid-2016, the Bahraini authorities have embarked on a systematic campaign to eliminate organized political opposition in the country. The main targets of this far-reaching repression have been human rights defenders, journalists, political activists, Shi’a clerics and peaceful protesters. Political leaders from the majority Shi’a population have been disproportionately targeted throughout, and on the eve of the election there is not one Shi’a political leader of national stature left who has not been detained, imprisoned, or stripped of Bahraini nationality.

Bahrain’s international partners and allies cannot remain silent, and must use their influence to pressure the Bahraini authorities to adhere to the international standards they have committed to
Devin Kenney

The authorities have extended already repressive legislation to exclude the political opposition in any form of civic or political participation.

Read full statement here