In its 2022 review of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the CEDR criticized Manama’s shortcomings on key human rights issues, particularly with regard to de facto and de jure discrimination.
The committee deplored Manama’s human rights record on issues related to civil society space and human rights defenders, human trafficking and migrant workers, nationality laws, and the rights of the Baharna and Ajam communities. The committee acknowledged the plight of the local population of Baharna and Ajam – indigenous locals who had been established in the country long before the arrival of the ruling family – and said it was concerned about reports of structural discrimination in law against these residents.
It called on the Al Khalifah regime to urgently study the matter and allow them to enjoy their rights in line with the requirements of the Convention.
Bahrain acceded to the CERD in March 1990. Since then, the committee has held five reviews of Bahrain, each time showing that the kingdom still has a long way to go before it can claim to have implemented the convention and complied with its international human rights obligations.
In 2011, the Bahraini population rose up en masse against Manama’s decades-long policy of sidelining and tyrannizing the Shia majority.
The regime has been coming down hard on the pro-democracy protests since they began in 2011, killing hundreds of people and jailing thousands of others. It has also dissolved the country’s biggest opposition grouping known as the Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.
The kingdom has consistently rejected criticism from the United Nations and others rights bodies over its conduct of trials and detention conditions.