US senators urge State Dept to confront Bahrain’s ‘repression’

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A bipartisan group of United States senators has known as on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to press the Kingdom of Bahrain to finish what it calls the “violent, systemic repression” of its inhabitants.

“We write to raise our concerns about the government of Bahrain’s troubling rights record and to better understand your administration’s strategy for pressing this issue with our important ally and partner,” a gaggle of seven influential US senators wrote.

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The Gulf state and US army ally has been condemned by worldwide human rights teams after imprisoning 1000’s of protesters, journalists and activists following a preferred rebellion towards the monarchy in 2011 that was put down with drive and assist from Saudi Arabia. Since then, political opposition in Bahrain has been banned and unbiased media shut down. There have been reviews of torture and compelled confessions in loss of life penalty instances, some involving political prisoners accused of “terrorism”.

Signatories to the letter (PDF) had been Democratic Senators Ron Wyden, Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Tammy Baldwin and Jeff Merkley, with Republican Marco Rubio.

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They known as on Secretary Blinken to “promote reform and respect for basic human rights” in Bahrain.

“We have long raised concerns about the situation in Bahrain precisely because Manama is an important ally,” the senators mentioned.

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The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which patrols the Persian Gulf, relies in Bahrain and the senators expressed concern “Bahrain’s violent, systemic repression will breed resentment and instability” that might threaten the US presence.

Bahrain is a majority Shia nation that’s dominated by a Sunni monarchy. US State Department reviews have documented rights abuses in Bahrain for years.

Hasan Abdulnabi Mansoor was the third prisoner to die in Bahrain from medical negligence since April, in keeping with Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain [Photo courtesy of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain]

“Bahrainis continue to call for agency and accountability, often at great risk to their safety and that of their families,” the letter mentioned.

Amnesty International and 15 different rights teams known as on Bahrain in July to launch Abdul Jalil al-Singace, a political prisoner who’s serving a life sentence for his involvement within the 2011 rebellion.

The 59-year-old al-Singace was a key member of the Shia opposition Haq motion. He has been on a starvation strike to protest towards ill-treatment.

The Bahrain authorities has rejected allegations of human rights violations and denied discriminating towards its Shia residents. There was no instant response by a Bahrain embassy press official in Washington, DC, to an inquiry by Al Jazeera searching for a response to the senators’ letter.

Husain Abdulla, a Bahraini exile who based Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, mentioned “Bahrain is a test case” for the Biden administration which has sought to place human rights on the centre of its international coverage.

“The government of Bahrain is an egregious, persistent and blatant violator of the rights of its citizens on nearly every level,” Abdalla mentioned in an announcement on the group’s web site, praising the senators’ letter.

In August, human rights teams known as for an unbiased investigation into the loss of life of Hasan Abdulnabi Mansoor, 35, a Bahraini prisoner who died in custody after allegedly being denied important remedy and therapy.

Mansoor was the third prisoner to die in Bahrain since April from medical negligence, rights teams mentioned.

Earlier this month, Bahrain conditionally launched 30 prisoners beneath new rules permitting digital monitoring and home detention, the Reuters information service reported, citing authorities officers and activists.

Sayed Ahmed al-Wadaei, additionally a Bahraini activist in exile who heads the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, instructed Reuters that 27 of these launched had been political prisoners, and lots of had been imprisoned after they had been juveniles.

“They will continue to face severe restrictions on their liberty and these rare releases remain overshadowed by the continued incarceration of hundreds of political prisoners in Bahrain,” mentioned al-Wadaei.


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