Bahrain was majorly affected by the Arab uprisings that started in 2011, with a large part of the population demanding political reforms and more inclusion. Political unrest continues in the country to date, while the government suppresses criticism and systematically cracks down on peaceful activists and political opponents.
The rights to freedom of opinion and expression as well as peaceful assembly and association are severely curbed by the Anti-Terrorism Law, the Press Law and certain provisions of the Penal Code. Individuals making use of these rights often fall victim to campaigns of harassment and intimidation, which take the form of arbitrary arrests, trumped-up charges, the stripping of citizenship, and the use of travel bans as a form of reprisal.
The practice of torture continues to be practised systematically by law enforcement officials falling under the authority of the Ministry of Interior, and is used both during interrogation to extract incriminating confessions, and as form of punishment in detention. No independent investigations into allegations of torture are being conducted, and perpetrators of torture go unpunished.