Bahrain stepped up its repression of activists and government critics during 2016, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. The government dissolved the main political opposition group and prosecuted leading human rights activists and Shia clerics.

The authorities also prevented numerous activists from leaving the country and deported six Bahrainis, including a human rights lawyer, after arbitrarily stripping them of their citizenship. This orchestrated crackdown on the rights to free expression, assembly, and association was a marked deterioration in the human rights situation and further undermined the prospects of a political solution to Bahrain’s domestic unrest.

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