Washington Week on Human Rights: September 8, 2014

Top News

ISIS President Obama will deliver an address on Wednesday to detail the administration’s plan for responding to the violence committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). During his Meet the Press appearance on Sunday, President Obama said that he will meet with congressional leaders on Tuesday and that the White House’s approach will include military, diplomatic, and economic components.

IMMIGRATION The Obama Administration will delay executive orders on immigration until after this year’s midterm elections. President Obama said he still plans to address immigration before the end of the year. In the meantime, the delay could adversely affect thousands of families and children crossing into the United States across the southern border. In the absence of immigration reform legislation or significant action through executive order, many immigrants who have been in the United States for years without authorization will continue to face detention, deportation, and separation from their U.S. families.

BAHRAIN On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will question William V. Roebuck, Ambassador-Designate to the Kingdom of Bahrain. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) will chair the hearing that should address the deteriorating human rights situation in the Kingdom. The Senate hearing comes just days after a Bahraini judge ruled to extend by 10 days the detention of leading Bahraini human rights activist Maryam Al Khawaja. She was arrested more than a week ago as she entered the Kingdom to visit her father, who is on hunger strike while serving a life sentence for his peaceful part in 2011 protests. Maryam’s lawyer said he was not permitted to speak with her before or during her questioning by the public prosecutor last week. Al Khawaja has been a familiar figure in Washington over the last three years, and has regularly met with members of Congress and administration officials. In 2011, she testified as a witness at a congressional hearing on Bahrain.

Quote of the Week

“This is similar to the kinds of counterterrorism campaigns that we’ve been engaging in consistently over the last five, six, seven years. And the good news is that because of American leadership, we have, I believe, a broad-based coalition internationally and regionally to be able to deal with the problem.”

President Obama previewing the administration’s plan to respond to ISIS on Meet the Press

We’re Reading

The New York Times’ Michael Shear details the administration’s decision to delay immigration reform until after the mid-term elections. Read more about refugee protection and the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Agence France-Presse covered the trial of Maryam Al Khawaja, a Bahraini human rights defender who is being detained for allegedly assaulting a police officer, a charge she denies. Human Rights First has said that Maryam is being targeted for her international advocacy work on behalf of the peaceful protest movement in Bahrain. Earlier last week, The Washington Post published an editorial about the case and the U.S. relationship with Bahrain. Read more about Bahrain.

The Christian Science Monitor previews what lies ahead as Congress returns to Washington this week.

We’re Watching

President Obama gave a wide-ranging interview on Meet the Press. In it, he addressed topics such as the threat posed by ISIS, timing of immigration reform, and gridlock in Washington.

On the Hill

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Cybersecurity, Terrorism, and Beyond: Addressing Evolving Threats to the Homeland.” 9:30AM, 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

The House Homeland Security Committee’s Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee will hold hearing on “One Flight Away: An Examination of the Threat posed by ISIS Terrorists with Western Passports.” 10AM, 311 Cannon House Office Building

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the pending nominations of William V. Roebuck to be U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain and Judith Beth Cefkin to be U.S. Ambassador to Fiji. 10:30AM, 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building

The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee and Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee will hold a joint hearing on “Genocidal Attacks Against Christian and Other Religious Minorities in Syria and Iraq. The hearing will feature testimony from Tom Malinowski, assistant secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Anne Richard, assistant secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration; Nancy Lindborg, assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance; Ignatius Aphrem II, patriarch of the Apostolic See of Antioch & All The East of the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church; Peter Galbraith, former adviser to the Kurdistan Regional Government; Pascale Esho Warda, president of the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization and former minister of immigration and refugees in the Iraqi Government; and Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. 2PM, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Around Town

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) will host a discussion on “9/11 and the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy.” The event will feature former Vice President Dick Cheney; Tully Friedman, chairman of the Board of Trustees at AEI; and Arthur Brooks, president of AEI. 10AM, AEI, 1150 17th Street NW, Wohlstetter Conference Center, 12th Floor, Washington, D.C

The Hudson Institute’s Center for Latin American Studies will host a discussion on “Children of Misery: Guns and Gangs in Central America.” The event will feature Armando Gonzalez, chief editor at La Nacion; Evan Ellis, associate professor in the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University (NDU); Celina Realuyo, professor in the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at NDU; and Jaime Daremblum, director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Hudson. 12PM, Hudson Institute, 1015 15th Street NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, D.C.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Middle East Institute (MEI) will hold its second annual conference on “Egypt: Facing Challenges, Harnessing Potential.” 9AM, MEI, Boardman Room, 1761 N Street NW, Washington, D.C.

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Published on September 8, 2014

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