Bahrain: where tweeting can land you in jail
Many cases reflect the increasingly restrictive and dangerous environment faced by human rights activists and those willing to express their opinions inside Bahrain.
One of the most well-known cases is of prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab. Having served several prison sentences since 2011’s pro-democracy uprising, he is no stranger to the fundamentally unjust Bahrain judicial system. Incarcerated for tweeting about the killing of civilians by the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition in Yemen, in addition to allegations of government-sanctioned torture in Bahrain’s prisons, he faces a bleak and tough future ahead. Nabeel Rajab is one of dozens of human rights defenders unjustly imprisoned for refusing to stay silent on his government’s rights abuses
A similar desire by the government of Bahrain to quash political dissent also sits front and centre in the case of Hakeem Al Araibi. His outspoken remarks against Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, a member of Bahrain’s royal family, is believed to have been the underlying reason for his detention in a Thai prison for nearly three months.
Instead of embarking upon a path towards progressiveness, inclusivity and reform, Bahrain has made an active decision to entrench policies of hostility and repression. Unfortunately, these attitudes will only draw further criticism towards the oil-rich state, as activists and political opposition figures will continue to be forced to flee in search of safety and security.
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