Annual Report: Bahrain 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Bahrain 2011

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  • Nabeel Rajab, Director of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights that was banned in 2004, was prevented at the border from travelling to Saudi Arabia on 27 September, prompting international protests. In October, he was allowed to travel.

Migrants' rights

Foreign migrants, especially domestic workers, continued to be exploited and abused despite revisions to the kafala (sponsorship system) made in 2009 to enable foreign workers to change jobs without obtaining their employer's consent. In several reported cases, employers confiscated foreign domestic workers' passports to prevent them seeking alternative employment. A number of migrant workers were reported to have committed suicide on account of their poor living and working conditions. Bahraini law affords little protection to foreign domestic workers; for example, it contains no provisions establishing a minimum wage or rest time.

Death penalty

At least one person was sentenced to death and one man was executed. As in the previous 10 years, the death penalty was only used against foreign nationals.

  • In March, Russell Mezan, a Bangladeshi national, was sentenced to death for murdering a Kuwaiti man. The death sentence was upheld on appeal in October and by the Cassation Court later in the year.
  • In July, Jassim Abdulmanan, a Bangladeshi national, was executed. He had been sentenced in 2007 for murdering another Bangladeshi national in 2005.

In December, Bahrain abstained on a UN General Assembly resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions.