Bahrain Mirror: A Bahrain government spokesman said in a statement that "no individual in the kingdom has been arrested or detained over his belief," adding that the constitution protects freedom of expression.
"Freedoms of religion and worship are protected rights under the constitution, and the kingdom is intolerant towards discrimination, persecution or the promotion of division on the basis of race, culture or belief," the spokesman said.
He stresses that "no individual was detained or arrested in Bahrain due to his religious and political beleifs."
The spokesman went on to say "in cases where individuals incite, encourage or glorify violence or hatred, there is a duty to investigate them, and prosecute them, if necessary."
This comes in response to a statement issued by the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy and other human rights groups urging Pope Francis to speak out about what they say are human rights abuses, including the imprisonment of pro-democracy opponents.
Bahrain rejects criticism from the United Nations and others over its conduct of trials and detention conditions. It says it prosecutes in accordance with international law and that its legal and judicial system continues to be reformed.