In Bahrain, local human rights groups have reported the detention of activist Ali Mehanna.
Mehanna’s most recent bout of detention was only the last instance of his continuous harassment by the Bahraini authorities, rights groups claim.
Whilst detained, Mehanna was pressured into signing an agreement to cease all participation in demonstrations against official mistreatment of prisoners-of-conscience, amongst whom are included his own father, Hussein Mehanna.
The same rights groups claim that Ali has been summoned by Bahraini authorities on seven separate occasions in 2021 alone.
The Bahraini government brutally suppressed peaceful protests in 2011. Several of the leaders of the protest movement, some of whom are elderly, remain in arbitrary detention.
In 2017, all independent media and even opposition parties were banned in the country.
However, Bahrain enjoys ongoing relations with Western states, and the EU. A recent cooperation agreement between the EU’s European External Action Service (EEAS) and Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs included items on trade, energy, and research.
During discussions over the agreement, “the importance of human rights in the bilateral relationship was underlined”, according to EU officials’ statements at the time.
Freedom House rates Bahrain as “Not Free”, with 12 marks of a possible 100.