The Bahraini military is detaining, trying, and allegedly even torturing civilian prisoners – and Trump just decided to sell them nearly $1 billion worth of new weapons.
Congress has less than 30 days to say no. Tell them to now.
Last Christmas, the Bahraini military convicted 12 civilians and a soldier in an illegal mass trial marred by evidence of enforced disappearances, torture, and other due process violations. Six of the men were sentenced to death.
While the king reduced the death sentences to life imprisonment, the men, in the words of seven UN human rights experts, “should have never been convicted on the basis of flawed trials” in the first place. Now the detainees are languishing in a military prison, where they’re at risk of continued torture and abuse.
Seven years after they were used to help crush the 2011 Arab Spring protests, military trials for civilians are the new normal for repression in Bahrain. In April 2017, the king signed a constitutional amendment to expand the military’s jurisdiction to “national security” cases even in peacetime – a clear violation of international law. Worse still, Bahraini legislation purposefully defines “national security” and “terror” offenses to encompass all forms of criticism and dissent against the government, virtually criminalizing human rights activism and independent journalism.
The UN condemned the trials, and even Trump’s own State Department criticized the new military court amendment in its human rights report last month.
But now the Trump Administration is rewarding the perpetrators of these abuses with brand new missiles and helicopter gunships.
Thankfully, Congress has 30 days to block the sale and show that the US won’t support a growing military dictatorship in Bahrain.
More American weapons will only empower Bahrain to crack down harder on human rights defenders, political activists, and anyone seeking freedom and democracy. If Trump gets his way, we’ll be complicit.
We have less than 30 days to stop Trump’s deal with abusive Bahrain – sign the petition now.
Ask Congress to oppose this new arms sale and send a message that the US rejects authoritarian oppression in Bahrain – before it’s too late!
- Trump Administration Approves new Arms Sales to Bahrain Despite Military Abuses
- Bahrain Military Court Death Sentences Ratified but Reduced to Life Imprisonment
- NGOs Condemn Confirmation of Civilian Sentences by Bahrain Military Court: Four at Risk of Imminent Execution
- Seven Years After the 2011 Uprising, Bahrain’s Military Courts Confirm Death Sentences for Civilians
- Bahrain Issues Six New Death Sentences for Terror Charges in Military Trial