State Security Law In Bahrain
Following Bahrain’s independence from the British in 1971, the government of Bahrain embarked on an extended period of political suppression under a 1974 State Security Law shortly after the adoption of the country’s first formal Constitution in 1973. Overwhelming objections to state authority resulted in the forced dissolution of the National Assembly by Amir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa and the suspension of the Constitution until 2001. The State Security Law of 1974 was a law used by the government of Bahrain to crush political unrest from 1974 until 2001. It was during this period that the worst human rights violations and torture were said to have taken place. The State Security Law contained measures permitting the government to arrest and imprison individuals without trial for a period of up to three years for crimes relating to state security. A subsequent Decree to the 1974 Act invoked the establishment of State Security Courts, adding to the conditions conducive to the practice of arbitrary arrest and torture. The deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain is reported to have reached its height in the mid-1990s (see: 1990s uprising in Bahrain) when thousands of men, women and children were illegally detained, reports of torture and ill-treatment of detainees were documented, and trials fell short of international standards.
Reports from international human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reveal that throughout its implementation, the State Security Law facilitated the use of routine torture of political prisoners and perpetuated substantial human rights violations for nearly 25 years. In 2001, Bahrain’s current Chief of state, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa abolished the law and declared Bahrain a constitutional monarchy following a national referendum.
Read more about State Security Law In Bahrain: History, Revocation of Political and Civil Liberties, Torture, Death of The Amir and Abolition of The State Security Law, Reemergence of Human Rights Violations and Allegations of Torture
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