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Bahrain has broad anti-terrorism laws that capture not only terrorists but also religious and political opponents to the regime. The 2006 Anti-Terrorism Law has been used to prosecute and convict Shia religious leaders, some of whom have been executed in recent years.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

The 2006 Anti-Terrorism Act defines terrorism in broad terms as follows:

use of force, the threat of using it, or any other illegal means that constitutes a punishable crime that the perpetrator may resort to in execution of individual or collective criminal undertaking with the aim of disturbing the public order, endangering the Kingdom's safety and security, or prejudicing national unity or the security of the international community. This is when such acts lead to harm, horrify or terrify people, endanger their lives, freedoms or security, harm the environment, public health, national economy, facilities, institutions, or public property, seizing them or impeding proper functioning thereof, or prevent or obstruct public authorities, worship houses, or academic institutions from executing their works.Art. 1, 2006 Law on the Protection of Society from Terrorist Acts.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Bahrain is a State Party to all of the main treaties at global and regional level.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Bahrain has also adhered to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Convention on International Terrorism and the Arab League Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1998 Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
1999 OIC Convention on Combating International Terrorism State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The maximum sentence for terrorist crimes in Bahrain is execution. According to the 2006 Law, capital punishment is applicable if the sentence would ordinarily be life imprisonment. Life imprisonment may be applied, if the penalty ordinarily set for the crime is equal to or a longer term of imprisonment than fifteen years. These penalties apply to terrorist crimes such as attacking individuals, robbery, or cyber terrorism, money laundering crime, and crimes related to religion.Art. 2, 2006 Law on the Protection of Society from Terrorist Acts.Hijacking an aircraft or sabotaging the public transport system for a terrorist purpose attracts a sentence of life imprisonment.Art. 4, 2006 Law on the Protection of Society from Terrorist Acts.

Bahraini Shia have regularly been convicted on terrorism charges and executed on the basis of the 2006 Law. Confessions are allegedly extracted under torture.

Bahrain has reported that in 2018 and 2019, 10 cases were recorded of the establishment of terrorist groups of which the members "were trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Hezbullah of Iraq and Hezbullah of Lebanon in the use of weapons and to manufacture explosives for use in terrorism". The accused were convicted and sentenced to terms ranging from three years in prison to life imprisonment.

Domestic Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies

The Bahrain State Police is the principal Bahraini law enforcement agency of the Ministry of Interior.

In 2014, Bahrain issued a new decree (Decree 68) amending the 2006 Law on the Protection of Society from Terrorist Acts. The Decree extends the permissible pre-trial detention period to seven months and widen the detention and search powers granted to the police.


Bahrain 2006 Anti-Terrorism Law