Bahrain: Mass arrests after the death of the Prime Minister

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its deep concern about the latest arrests following  Bahrain’s announcement of the death of its Prime Minister, Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
On Wednesday, November 11, 2020, Bahrain announced the death of Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the second oldest Arab prime minister, who held this position from 1973 until the announcement of his death.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights monitored the arrest of a number of people, including a boy and a girl, aged 16 years and 4 women, due to writings they published on social media sites (Twitter and WhatsApp), some of which are related to announcing the news of the prime minister’s death.
As monitored by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) the country has tightened censorship on social media users for years, and many people have been arrested in recent years for exercising freedom of expression, and Bahrain faces many international criticisms in this regard.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) believes that the recent arrests and the charges against the detainees are related to freedom of expression, and that their detention is a flagrant violation of the right to freedom of expression and the relevant international covenants, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Bahrain has ratified, which clearly states on “the necessity to respect the right to freedom of expression and no one may be arrested for expressing an opinion”.
Accordingly, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) demands the following:
– The immediate release of those arrested due to issues related to freedom of expression.
– Promote the concept of respecting freedom of expression instead of punishing those who practice this right.
– Immediately stop criminalizing freedom of expression.