Bahrain: from bad to worse

The Sakhir circuit in Manama. © AFP

Bahrain, once described as a promising model for political reform and democratic transition. This utopian description of the Persian Gulf island were the words of Freedom House, in their annual report; however, the second sentence was quick to reveal the ugly truth, namely, that Bahrain has become one of the Middle East’s most repressive states.

The figures released are startling. In a general freedom rating, Bahrain came 193rd out of 211 countries in the world, receiving an average total of 12/100, with zero being the lowest score.

Furthermore, the country was given a 7/7, which is the lowest possible score in the political rights category, and 6/7 in the civil liberties category. For a nation that was once so promising, its despotic regime has clearly ruined this label, leading it to suppression, suffering and pain.


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