Political Action Increasing from Bahrainis at Home and Abroad – SALAM DHR 2023 Annual Report Finds

Human rights NGO, Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (SALAM DHR)’s 2023 annual report of activities showcases a febrile atmosphere in Bahrain, where its citizens have increasingly engaged in mass protest and other acts of civil disobedience, despite heavy restrictions, over the past year. Additionally, organisation like SALAM DHR have been working with Bahrainis within the country and in the diaspora to campaign for human rights, democratic representation, and accountability in the heavily securitised island nation.

SALAM DHR’s monitoring finds that although protests in the Bahrain have increased dramatically over the past year due to the war Gaza, popular discontent is driven by systematic issues, such as a longstanding lack of religious freedom and representation for the country’s Shi’a Muslim community,hundreds of prisoners of conscience and nationals forced into exile since 2011, and opposition to the Bahraini government normalising its relations with Israel, via the Abraham Accords, in 2020. These separate developments have coalesced into open opposition to state policies from civilians in Bahrain. The annual report explores these thematic issues individually.

Throughout 2023, SALAM DHR has been amplifying voices calling for reform in Bahrain, working with activists, human rights experts, academics and politicians in Europe and North America to draw attention to ongoing human rights abuses in the country. They are also empowering Bahraini citizens to utilise their rights and protections guaranteed by the Bahraini constitution and international law through webinars, and advocacy with the UK, EU, and UN. Additionally, SALAM DHR has continued to recruit and train interns in human rights research and advocacy globally, drawing from young human rights advocates in the Middle East, Europe, North America, and South Asia. Working with respected research institutions such as the Richardson Institute, at Lancaster University, and University College Dublin, the human rights NGO has prided itself on training passionate, highly talented researchers with the intention providing them the skills to become human rights professionals.

Commenting on 2023’s developments, SALAM DHR’s Chairman, Jawad Fairooz remarked:

“Bahrain continues to face many challenges, and Bahrainis are making their voices heard at great personal risk. It is, and has always been, our hope and our mission to make sure those voices are heard on all levels. We want to be sure that their voices are not only recognised not by the Bahraini government, but by the nations of the world and people around the globe. Every person willing to listen increases the chance of democratic reform.”


Download / Read Full Report


30 April 2024



  • Andrew McIntosh,
  • Salam for Democracy and Human Rights
  • +44 7800 989211              
  • adtmcintosh@salam-dhr.org