U.S. House Committee Highlights Human Rights Abuses, Lack of Accountability in Bahrain

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee this week shone a bright light on the egregious and ongoing violations of human rights in Bahrain by calling for “meaningful progress” on human rights in Bahrain and accountability for those responsible for human rights abuses there.

“Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain is deeply appreciative of the action by the House Appropriations Committee and the leadership of Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Lee to highlight the worsening human rights situation in Bahrain,” said Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain.  “Ending torture, releasing political prisoners like opposition leader Hassan Mushaima, transitioning to democracy, and holding those responsible for human rights abuses no matter how high they are in the Bahraini government cannot wait any longer.”

In the Report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2022 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations bill the Committee elevated human rights and committed the US Government to work against the, “malign forces and actors [that] take advantage of vulnerable situations and people to erode human rights, sow fear, and centralize corrupt power.”

The Committee specifically highlighted the egregious violations of human rights by the Government of Bahrain, citing “ongoing reports of the widespread violation of human rights, including the use of arbitrary detention, violence, violations of due process, and restrictions of freedom of expression, the press, and assembly.”

The Committee called on the US Department of State to prioritize working with the Government of Bahrain to, “make meaningful progress toward establishing democratic institutions and holding accountable those responsible, including in the armed forces and Ministry of Interior, for human rights violations.”

This action follows the March 2021 release of the US State Department’s 2020 Human Rights Reports which chronicled the Government of Bahrain’s atrocious behavior against its own citizens.  The report found, “significant human rights issues included: torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; harsh prison conditions, including lack of sufficient access to medical care in prisons; arbitrary detention; political prisoners; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; restrictions on freedom of expression” in addition to many other violations.

“The evidence of terrible and systemic violations of human rights in Bahrain is crystal-clear,” said Abdulla.  “Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain looks forward to ongoing oversight by Congress and strong action by the Biden Administration to uphold the core values of the United States by ending human rights violations, strengthening democratic institutions, and ensuring that human rights violators are brought to justice in Bahrain.”