Kerry Should Press Bahraini Foreign Minister on Human Rights Abuses
Washington, D.C. – Today, as Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Foreign Minister of Bahrain Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa, Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley issued the following statement:
“Secretary Kerry should not miss this opportunity to tell the Bahraini Foreign Minister directly that there will be consequences to the U.S. – Bahrain relationship if the current crackdown on human rights continues. Specifically, Secretary Kerry should raise the issues of impunity at the highest levels for torture and deaths since 2011, the lack of fair trial procedures and imprisonment of many peaceful opposition leaders and human rights activists such as Abdulhadi al Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab, as well as the continuing use of excessive police force. Secretary Kerry should also ask the Foreign Minister why the Kingdom has denied entry to Bahrain to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, to Human Rights First, and to other international media and human rights organizations.
“Lack of meaningful human rights reform is polarizing Bahraini society and undermining the country’s stability. We hope Secretary Kerry makes it clear that the long relationship between the governments of the U.S. and Bahrain is under close scrutiny and is not unconditional.”