Human Rights First’s Dooley Responds to Senate Hearing on Nomination of Ambassador to Bahrain
Washington, D.C. – Following today’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on the nomination of William Roebuck to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley issued the following statement:
“Today’s Senate hearing on the nomination of William Roebuck, President Obama’s choice to be new ambassador to Bahrain, was ominously familiar. Roebuck sounded a lot like current Ambassador Thomas Krajeski did at his hearing three years ago, praising the king of Bahrain’s efforts to bring reform to the country even as human rights defenders are targeted by the repressive regime.
“While Roebuck said he intends to meet with opposition figures in defiance of Bahraini law as Tom Malinowski did in July, and that he intends to make a strong public case for the protection of human rights as being in Bahrain’s long-term interest, he missed the opportunity to spell out what the United States intends to change in its dealings with the Kingdom in order to secure respect for those rights.
“Cutting and pasting failed policies from 2011 won’t work – the political crisis in Bahrain has deepened as tension in the bilateral relationship has heightened.
“Washington needs a totally fresh approach to its Bahrain problem, evidence of which was not demonstrated in today’s hearing.”