Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) commends the Members of Congress who delivered speeches on the floor, submitted statements for the record, and issued press statements to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the outbreak of protests in Bahrain.

“We applaud those Members of Congress who spoke out publicly against the ongoing human rights abuses in Bahrain, who called upon the Government of Bahrain to respect the legitimate aspirations of its people, and who called upon the United States Government to  ensure that Bahrain embraces, rather than rejects, democratic reforms, and that the Government of Bahrain is held accountable for its abuses,” said ADHRB Director Husain Abdulla.

On Thursday, February 14, Congressman James McGovern (D-MA) gave a one-minute speech on the House floor in which he noted that, “[d]espite an active public relations campaign, the Government of Bahrain is not . . . making a good-faith effort to meet the legitimate demands of its people.” “The Obama Administration needs to change course with Bahrain and begin implementing a policy that holds Bahrain accountable,” he added.

In a statement submitted for the record, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) said that “[t]here is, quite frankly, little to be optimistic about if one examines the regime’s track record over the last 2 years. Banning peaceful protests is not progress. Using tear gas as a weapon is not progress. Shooting teenagers is not progress.” Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) also submitted a statement for the record, expressing his disappointment that a close ally of the United States is “engaging in torture, intimidation, and repression against peaceful protesters.” Representative Ted Yoho, in a submitted statement for the record, expressed his desire to see the Government of Bahrain “move towards the constitutional reforms that are so desperately desired by the people.” In a press statement, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) made the argument that “[l]asting political stability can only come through a government that represents the aspirations of the people and is responsive to their needs and concerns.”

“We welcome the remarks made by Members of Congress this week that addressed the serious need for the United States to step up to the plate to put an end to the Government of Bahrain’s stalling tactics,” said Abdulla. “If it is going to be a credible actor when it comes to the pro-democracy movement in the Middle East, the Obama Administration needs to listen to these voices and recalibrate its policies in a way that places democracy and human rights first in our foreign diplomacy with Bahrain.”

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Please click here for a PDF of this statement.