WASHINGTON, DC – June 3, 2013 – This week, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain, is expected to meet with US Government officials during his visit to the United States. Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) calls upon US Government officials to raise concerns with the Crown Prince regarding ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain, and to emphasize the need to swiftly enact reforms that address increasing demands for political freedom.
“Assaults on human rights, freedom of expression, and medical neutrality by the Government of Bahrain have not abated since the uprising began in 2011,” said ADHRB Director Husain Abdulla. “We urge US Government officials to use this opportunity to speak frankly and honestly with the Crown Prince about these and other widely-publicized ongoing abuses. US officials should also underscore the need for a high-ranking official from the Bahrain government to engage in dialogue with members of the opposition in order to respond to Bahraini citizens’ legitimate demands for democratic governance.”
While Bahrain government officials insist that reforms have been made, the majority of recommendations made by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI)—a body commissioned by the Government of Bahrain to propose reforms following the 2011 protests—have not been implemented. This much was recently confirmed by the US State Department in its 2012 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Bahrain, in which the agency noted that although the Government of Bahrain has made “some” progress in implementing reforms since 2011, that progress has not been significant.
“We hope the US Government will use the opportunity of the Crown Prince’s visit to raise concerns regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain,” Mr. Abdulla said. “US national and regional security interests in the Gulf are inextricably linked to stability in Bahrain, and stability will not be possible absent any real and lasting reforms.”
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