Washington, D.C. – Today, 18 members of the United States Congress sent a bipartisan letter to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain to express their concern over the Bahraini government’s decision to expel Tom Malinowski, the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, from the country last week.
The bipartisan letter, led by Representatives Henry C. “Hank” Johnson (D-GA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), urges King Hamad to honor his government’s previously stated commitments to reconciliation and dialogue in Bahrain by welcoming Assistant Secretary Malinowski back into the country to resume his visit, which was “intended to strengthen bilateral ties and support,” and states that the government’s decision to expel him is troubling “in light of the fact that Assistant Secretary Malinowski was in the county doing exactly what high-level diplomats are called on to do: meet with members of the government, opposition parties, and members of the public to gain a deeper understanding.”
“I am pleased to see members of Congress responding to the unprecedented expulsion of a high-level U.S. official from Bahrain,” said Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain. “Assistant Secretary Malinowski’s expulsion not only serves to demonstrate just how unreliable of an ally Bahrain is to the United States, but also underscores well-founded fears that instability in the country will continue to grow as the window for meaningful dialogue closes. As home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet and thousands of U.S. personnel, this growing instability should give the United States pause about its current relationship with the Bahraini government.”
The bipartisan letter was cosigned by Representatives Jim Moran (D-VA), James P. McGovern (D-MA), John Garamendi (D-CA), John Conyers, Jr (D-MI), Andre Carson (D-IN), Barbra Lee (D-CA), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Mike Honda (D-CA), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Maxine Waters (D-CA).