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Bahrain Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Bahrain Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Arabic Translation

Key Findings

Amidst an overall worsening of human rights conditions during the past year, religious freedom for the majority-Shi’a community deteriorated. There was a sharp increase in the number of interrogations, arrests, convictions, and arbitrary detentions of Shi’a Muslim clerics, mostly on unfounded and unsubstantiated charges. In addition, authorities denied some Shi’a clerics access to specific mosques and banned others from conducting Friday prayers, sermons, and other religious services. Discrimination against Shi’a Muslims in government employment and other public and social services continued, as did inflammatory, sectarian rhetoric by pro-government media, despite officials often making public statements condemning sectarian hatred and violence. Although the government continued to make progress in implementing some recommendations from the 2011 report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), it has not fully implemented recommendations that would redress past abuses against Shi’a Muslims and further improve religious freedom conditions. As a consequence of deteriorating conditions, in 2017 USCIRF places Bahrain on its Tier 2 for the first time. Between 2012 and 2016, Bahrain was covered in the Other Countries Monitored section of the Annual Report.