Is There New Hope for Human Rights in Bahrain?

February 09, 2021

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a Bahraini human rights activist, was arrested on the night of April 9, 2011. During the arrest at his family home in Bahrain, he was brutally assaulted and his jaw broken in four places. On June 22, barely two months after his arrest, he was sentenced to life in prison after...

The Bahrain-Turkey Relationship Comes Under Pressure

November 19, 2019

A common assumption is that Bahrain’s foreign policy is mostly shaped by its close relationship with Saudi Arabia. Yet the UAE also heavily influences Manama's position on regional challenges, best demonstrated by Bahrain’s approach to Syria-related issues.

Bahrain: King Hamad Moves on Reconciliation Bid

May 01, 2019

If the release of prisoners includes Nabeel Rajab, King Hamad will have signaled that he is serious about ending the cycle of repression in Bahrain. The decision on April 22 by Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to restore the citizenship of 551 individuals may be a first step in what...

Bringing Reconciliation to Bahrain



Death Sentence Could Inflame Tension Across the Middle East

January 23, 2015

The fate of a Shiite cleric hangs over the Gulf like a sword of Damocles. Last October, Saudi Arabia’s Special Criminal Court sentenced Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, a popular Shiite cleric and outspoken political dissident, to death. This was not an ordinary criminal trial, even considering...

China and Bahrain: Undocumented Growing Relations

May 22, 2014

Since the 1970s, relations between China and Bahrain have grown far beyond diplomatic ties. In April, China and Bahrain celebrated the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. While many have documented Beijing's ties with Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, China’s relations with the...

From Sidi Bouzid to Damascus: The Tragedy of the “Spring”

January 09, 2014

Why have the fruits of the "Arab Spring" not been met? Over one year ago, Casper Wuite and I became published authors when our book, The Arab Uprisings: An Introduction, was released. An incredible feat for the two of us aside, the revolts that swept the Middle East and North Africa from...

The Gulf: Foreign Workers’ Rights

January 02, 2014

Despite the spotlight on Qatar, foreign workers' conditions in the UAE are equally harsh. Gulf states are lining up as targets for criticism by international trade unions and human rights groups for their treatment of foreign workers. Qatar, long in the firing line after its winning bid to...

Gulf Security: A Risky New US-Saudi Blueprint

December 16, 2013

A US-backed Saudi blueprint risks splitting the GCC. In a bid to reassure Gulf states worried about a US-Iranian rapprochement and critical of American Middle East policy, the Obama administration has opted to back Saudi efforts for regional hegemony through greater integration of Gulf military...

Bahrain: Pushing for a New Image?

Bahrain needs more than just an image change to solve its long-standing problems. Recently, Bahrain has been making progress not only in the realm of business, but also in matters of international affairs. Prior to the Dubai Airshow this past November, his Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid...

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