Bahrain has been consistently criminalizing dissenting voices. Human Rights groups and the UN are calling on Bahrain to release human rights defender Nabeel Rajab who has been imprisoned for more than two years for comments made on twitter. Rajab criticized Saudi Arabia’s horrific bombing of Yemen and torture inside Bahrain’s Jau Prison.
Recently, Bahrain’s highest court upheld Rajab’s conviction and his five year sentence for “spreading false news and rumors in time of war.” The UN says Rajab is being jailed for exercising his freedom of expression.
Rights groups and the UN Working Group of Arbitrary Detention have repeatedly declared Rajab’s detention to be arbitrary.
Human rights groups accuse the Government of Bahrain of employing brutal measures to suppress critics and going to great lengths to keep human rights defenders from speaking out.
An example is the case of Sayed Ahmed Al Wadaei, who tried to participate in the UN Human Rights Council in 2017. Authorities responded by arresting three of his family members in Bahrain on terrorism charges. All three of them reportedly suffered torture and ill-treatment while in detention.