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Bahraini Shiite Muslims march in support of prominent jailed opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman after mid-day prayers in Diraz, Bahrain, June 12, 2015 (AP photo by Hasan Jamali).

In Bahrain’s ‘Facade Democracy,’ There Is No More Pretense of Political Openness

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019

Bahraini soccer player Hakeem al-Araibi was released from jail this week in Thailand, after the authorities in Bahrain dropped an extradition request related to his participation in anti-government protests in 2011. He is now back in Australia, where he has refugee status. Dissidents and government critics inside Bahrain have not been as fortunate, as the country’s highest court recently upheld life sentences against three opposition leaders on charges of spying for Qatar. In an interview with WPR, Neil Quilliam, a senior research fellow with the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House, discusses Bahrain’s crackdown on dissent and authoritarian retrenchment since the Arab Spring.

World Politics Review: Some recent high-profile cases suggest that Bahrain is more emboldened than ever to go after opposition leaders and dissidents, both at home and abroad. Why is that? ...

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