Accessibility links

Breaking News

Watchdog

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson condemned the executions.

Bahraini authorities have executed three Shi’ite Muslim men convicted of killing three policemen, including an Emirati officer, in a 2014 bomb attack, the public prosecutor said.

The executions took place on January 15 and were the first since a 2011 uprising led by Bahrain's Shi'ite majority calling for greater political rights was crushed by the Sunni-led government.

The executions were condemned by foreign officials, including British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who said in a statement that Britain opposes the death penalty and that he "raised the issue with the Bahraini government."

Iran, a critic of Bahrain’s government, also criticized the executions.

"Bahrain's government has demonstrated that it does not seek a peaceful resolution and a way out of the crisis," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by the official news agency IRNA.

The executions triggered protests in Shi'ite villages, reports said.

Activists in Bahrain posted images on social media showing clashes between protestors and the police, which used tear gas.

The executions came less than a week after the country's highest court, the Court of Cassation, upheld the death sentences originally imposed in 2015, the prosecution said in a statement carried by the BNA state news agency.

On January 14, rumors of the imminent executions sparked a series of antigovernment marches and clashes between opposition activists and police.

The Interior Ministry said that a police officer was wounded when several people shot at a police patrol in Bani Jamra, west of the capital, Manama. It gave no further details.

Bahrain has faced sporadic unrest since March 2011 when security forces brutally crushed an Arab Spring-inspired uprising.

With reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and IRNA
Aleksandr Lapshin

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling on Belarusian authorities to “unconditionally” release a Russian-Israeli blogger who is wanted in Baku on separatism charges.

Aleksandr Lapshin, who lives in Moscow and writes a Russian-language travel blog, was detained in Minsk last month on an extradition request from Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani prosecutors accuse him of illegally visiting Nagorno-Karabakh and calling for the recognition of the breakaway region’s independence from Azerbaijan.

A representative of Belarus's Prosecutor-General's Office was quoted as saying on January 13 that it was studying Azerbaijan's extradition request.

"Lapshin should not be jailed for expressing his opinions or traveling to a disputed region," Nina Ognianova, CPJ's Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, said in a January 13 statement.

If extradited, tried, and convicted, Lapshin faces up to eight years in prison.

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

Subscribe

Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More

XS
SM
MD
LG