Press in Bahrain: Silencing and Absence of Freedoms

On the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, celebrated on 2 November of each year, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) issued a detailed report on the conditions of journalists in Bahrain and the violations committed against them. The report entitled “Press in Bahrain: Silencing and Absence of Freedoms” is issued in both Arabic and English languages.

Through the report, the Center considers that the perpetuation of attacks against journalists without punishment sends a negative message that “conveying the truth” or “unwanted opinions” would put journalists in prisons. In addition, society loses confidence in its judicial system, which must protect everyone from attacks that affect their rights. Perpetrators of crimes against journalists are thus encouraged when they realize that they are able to attack their targets without having to be held accountable.

The report aims to show the extent of the inconsistency of Bahraini laws and legislations with international treaties, charters, and agreements. The report presents the reality of the Bahraini press status, documenting the violations (killing, arrest, travel bans, revocation of nationality …) committed against journalists and workers in the field of journalism, and the Bahraini government’s failure to adhere to international law. The report is based on an analytical study of Bahraini laws and legislation restricting freedom of press work. It also shows that the perpetrators of violations of the right of journalists have evaded accountability.

The report concluded with recommendations to the international community and the Bahraini government to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release of all media professionals and prisoners of conscience and conscience who were arrested for expressing their views;
  • Abolish the laws that do not comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the Bahraini Penal Code and Decree-Law No. 47 of 2002;
  • Allow Al-Wasat newspaper to return to practice its work without conditions or restrictions;
  • Try all perpetrators of violations against journalists, whether military or civilians.

Click here to read the full report