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Bahrain: Dreams of reform crushed 10 years after uprising


Ten years after Bahrain’s popular uprising, systemic injustice has intensified and political repression targeting dissidents, human rights defenders, clerics and independent civil society have effectively shut any space for the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression or peaceful activism, said Amnesty International today.
Mass protests in 2011 were fueled by mounting discontent over the state’s authoritarianism, sectarianism in government employment and benefits, and refusal to provide accountability for torture and arbitrary detention. Yet ten years on, the Bahraini government continues to ignore key recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, an independent panel commissioned by the King in response to international concern over the suppression of the 2011 protests.
“Since 2011, the only structural changes Bahrain has seen have been for the worse, as opposition parties have been outlawed, the only independent news outlet has been shut down, and new laws have further closed the space for political participation. The protest leaders of 2011 continue to languish in grim prison conditions, and human rights including the right to freedom of expression are routinely trampled on,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The Bahraini state has crushed the hopes and expectations raised by the mass protests of 10 years ago, reacting with a brutal crackdown over the subsequent decade that has been facilitated by the shameful silence of Bahrain’s Western allies, especially the UK and the US.”

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