Groups Press Secretary Clinton on Human Rights in Bahrain

Just Foreign Policy joined with the Project on Middle East Democracy, Human Rights Watch, the AFL-CIO and other groups and individuals in sending a letter to Secretary of State Clinton, urging her to press the government of Bahrain for concrete measures to improve the human rights situation, including the release of medical professionals and other political prisoners, the reinstatement of workers who were dismissed, and access for international journalists. 

The letter is here.  

Madam Secretary:

In as much as the United States is deeply bonded with Saudi Arabia through the provision of massive weaponry, we have an enormous moral responsibility to make good faith efforts to prevent the systemic human rights abuses, by not only the government of Bahrain but also that of Saudi Arabia, against the Bahrainis who have peacefully expressed their longing for a more democratic society. It is time to acknowledge the reality that the positioning of a US naval fleet in Bahrain is a matter of convenience, rather than of necessity, and cease to fear the loss of this privilege if we confront the Bahraini autocracy regarding the abuse of physicians and other health care professionals who have provided medical care to the Bahrainis who participated in the peaceful expression of their grievances.

Nor is our need for Saudi oil a good or sufficient reason to refaining from confronting King Abdullah regarding the human rights abuses that he has sponsored in Bahrain. The 5% of our petroleum imports that Saudi Arabia provides can easily be made up from our sources, especially Canada and Venezuela. (Naturally, if we acknowledge, to one another, the ample justifications that President Chavez has for his expressed resentment against the United States, specifically President Bush's funding of the coup d'etat carried out by the police and promptly reversed by the Army of Venezuela, then we can be the adult party who breaks the ice and establishes amicable relations with Venezuela, in order to, so to speak, press the reset button on our relations with Venezuela.)

Thank you, Madam Secretary, for your attention to these urgent matters.

While we are rightfully trying to curtail human right abuses in some Middle East countries, we are ignoring the same abuses in countries which happen to be our allies or give shelter to our military basis. Bahrain is a blatant example of this policy , which will be viewed by most people as hypocritical. It s important for our Democracy to be an example to other nations.

When you look at the difference in how Libya was treated and how Bahrain was treated it is striking. Libya had a type of sanction imposed, had a no fly zone imposed, was bombed by NATO and had US advisers (CIA? Special Forces?) assisting/advising the rebels and providing aid. Bahrain was not only not punished for its clamp down on protesters but continues to receive aid and nothing was said about the Saudi Arabia military incursion/assistance to the Bahrain government in putting down its protest movement. If this was Iraq or Syria or Libya the reaction would have been much different. Shame on the US State Department for the hypocrisy.

The world will see us as hypocrites if we do not support all human rights.

Support the Bahrain popular movement for democracy and justice.
Release all political prisoners.
End the humanitarian crisis and persecution of medical people.

Please end the witchhunt against medical personnel in Bahrain NOW !

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