Bahraini Government Suspected of Spying on Dissidents
A report was published on July 25 investigating Bahrain’s use of criminal surveillance software to spy on protesters and suspected dissidents. Morgan Marquis-Boire and Bill Marczak, two computer engineers, undertook the project in an effort to shed light on the use of such software by governments known for human rights abuses. The pair analyzed suspicious emails that had been sent to three Bahraini activists, discovering that the messages contained spyware which could be traced back to the same unspecified Bahraini server. According to Marquis-Boire and Marczak, the activists did not have criminal records.
On August 30, Bahrain’s Deputy Premier Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak al-Khalifa received a delegation representing al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, a prominent player in the country’s opposition. The meeting was requested by al-Wefaq in an effort to engage the regime. According to Bahrain News Agency, Al-Khalifa stated that “any move towards political progress will only be possible if it includes everyone within a framework of transparency through constitutional institutions, while emphasizing the principle of consensus and openness to others.” Additionally, al-Wefaq’s own media outlet stressed that “political stability can be achieved through transparent and serious political process in which the final decision must be made by all sectors of the people, realizing an inclusive national decision.” The organization maintained their commitment to the principles outlined in the Manama Document, which is reinforced by the idea that “the people are the source of legitimacy and the source of all powers.”