Bahrain Bi-Weekly: Issue 11

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US Legislators Express Concern in Letter to King about Cancellation of UN Special Rapporteur’s Visit to Bahrain

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez
Credit: Associated Press

On June 7th, 20 members of the US Congress sent a letter to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain to express their “concern and disappointment” regarding the recent cancellation of a trip to Bahrain by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez. Mr. Méndez was scheduled to travel to Bahrain in May to independently assess whether torture and ill-treatment continue to be perpetrated against protesters, activists, and other civilians. In a statement, Mr. Méndez expressed his “deep disappointment” over the Bahrain government’s decision. “I would have conducted my visit in the spirit of cooperation and expected the Government to share that approach; regrettably, this does not appear to be the case,” Mr. Méndez said.

In their letter, US lawmakers urged the king to reverse the decision to deny access to Bahrain by Mr. Méndez and other international observers, noting that security forces have allegedly tortured detainees “with impunity” in recent years. The letter was led by Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and signed by the following Members of Congress:

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD
Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL)
Representative Jim Himes (D-CT)
Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Representative Jim Moran (D-VA)
Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

Upcoming Events

Monday, June 24 | 10am-12pm
Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace (RSVP)
National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC

Wednesday, June 26 |

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (RSVP)
Georgetown Law
600 New Jersey Avenue NW, Gewirz 12th
Washington, DC

Thursday, June 27 |

The Arab Silent Majority: Challenging Assumptions about Regional Transitions (RSVP)
Project on Middle East Democracy
1777 F Street NW, 1st Floor Conference Room
Washington, DC

Tuesday, July 2 |

Exploring Intersections of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (RSVP)
American University Washington College of Law and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Capitol Visitor Center HVC-200
Washington, DC
(Lunch will be provided)
Note: This event is only open to Hill staff and interns