U.S. Government Should Push for Bahraini Reforms Four Years After BICI Report
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today urged the U.S. government to increase pressure on the Bahraini regime to implement all 26 recommendations from the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) four years after the report’s release.
“After four years of foot dragging and evasion by the Bahrain government, the BICI reforms still have not been implemented, leaving the country even more polarized, sectarian, and dangerous,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley.
The BICI was commissioned by the Bahraini regime following widespread unrest and a violent government crackdown in 2011. The Bahraini government has since failed to meet its promise to implement the report’s reforms.
In a factsheet issued today, Human Rights First details Bahrain’s backslide on human rights since the BICI report’s release, and urges U.S. policymakers to press its military ally to introduce crucial reforms before the situation in Bahrain deteriorates further.
Key recommendations for the U.S. government include:
- Congress should support S.2009 and H.R. 3445, a bipartisan bill that would ban the sale of small arms and ammunition to Bahrain until the government fully implements all 26 recommendations made by the BICI;
- The Obama Administration should call for an immediate end to the continued detention of Sheikh Ali Salman, the leader of Al Wefaq, Ebrahim Sharif, a leader of Waad, and other political leaders;
- The administration should publicly acknowledge international media and human rights organizations that are denied access to Bahrain and call for them to be admitted;
- The State Department should fund and provide support to local projects investigating corruption and promoting awareness of corrupt practices in Bahrain; and,
- The Defense Department should insist that all future training of Bahraini security force personnel include Shias.
For more information or to speak with Dooley, contact Corinne Duffy at 202-370-3319 or [email protected]