15 May 2019 – On 13 May 2019, Senator Rand Paul issued a resolution (S.J.Res 20) disapproving of the proposed sale to the Government of Bahrain of “certain defense articles and services.” Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) welcomes this resolution and urges Congress to support halting all unconditional arms sales to Bahrain.
On 3 May 2019, the State Department notified Congress of two major arms sales to Bahrain, including Patriot missile systems and related support and equipment for an estimated cost of $2.478 billion and various weapons to support Bahrain’s F-16 Block 70/F-16V aircraft fleet for an estimated cost of $750 million, the latter of which is the focus for Senator Paul’s resolution.
Bahrain has continued to receive arms from the US, despite its abhorrent human rights record. Under the Trump Administration, the State Department has now made determinations approving over $8.5 billion worth of arms sales, upgrades, services, and training to Bahrain.
Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of ADHRB commenting: “If Congress can demonstrate a commitment to human rights by halting arms sales to Bahrain, the Bahraini government will have a stronger incentive to improve the current human rights situation in the kingdom. Senator Paul’s resolution is definitely an important step in the right direction. Bahrain must be held accountable for its ongoing abuses – including arbitrary arrests, torture, and extrajudicial killings. This behavior is not something the US should be rewarding with arms sales.”