[JURIST] Reforms in Bahrain have failed to end serious human rights violations, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported Wednesday. The 79-page report [text, PDF] claims that activists are still being jailed and detainees have been mistreated and tortured. The government implemented the reforms four years ago after anti-government protests began to shake the nation. Although the political system was overhauled and reforms were put in place, AI says more can be done to help remedy the situation. AI urged Bahrain to take the necessary steps, including an overhaul of the judiciary and the release of those jailed for “lawfully exercising their right to freedom of expression.” The group is also seeking help from Bahrain’s allies, including the UK, the US and other European countries, to become more involved in limiting rights abuses and lobbying for a complete reform of the justice system in Bahrain.
Political tensions between the police and protestors in Bahrain have been high since protests began in early 2011. In February a Bahraini court found [JURIST report] 11 Shiites guilty of an attack carried out against police in 2013, and three Shiites were sentenced to death. The other eight defendants were sentenced to life in prison, and their citizenship was stripped. Also in February Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior [official website] initiated a criminal investigation into alleged criminal content [JURIST report] posted by the country’s main opposition group, the Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society. In early February a group of UN human rights experts [JURIST report] urged the Bahrain government to release peaceful politician Sheikh Ali Salman. The religious figure serves as the main political opposition to the Al-Wefaq. He was charged in January [JURIST report] for inciting a change of regime by non-peaceful means.