10 thoughts on “US Navy commander drunk, abusive in Bahrain

  1. U.S. lawmakers seek to block U.S. arms sales to Bahrain

    WASHINGTON | Sat Oct 8, 2011 9:01am IST

    (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers, concerned about the Bahraini government’s response to a popular uprising, on Friday introduced a rare measure that would halt a $53 million arms sale to the Gulf Arab state.

    U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and U.S. Representative James McGovern of Massachusetts, both Democrats, said they introduced resolutions in both houses of Congress to prevent the sale of U.S. weapons to Bahrain “until meaningful steps are taken to improve human rights” there.

    “Selling weapons to a regime that is violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent and violating human rights is antithetical to our foreign policy goals and the principle of basic rights for all that the U.S. has worked hard to promote,” Wyden said in a statement posted on his website.

    “The U.S. should not reward a regime that actively suppresses its people. This resolution will withhold the sale of arms to Bahrain until the ruling family shows a real commitment to human rights,” Wyden said.

    The Pentagon last month notified lawmakers that it had approved the sale of $53 million of weapons to Bahrain, including more than 44 armoured Humvees and 300 missiles, 50 of which have bunker busting capability.

    Prime contractors for the arms sale would be AM General [MAFHDG.UL] and Raytheon Co, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the part of the Pentagon that oversees foreign arms sales.

    The notice of the sale was officially reported to Congress on Sept. 14, triggering a 30-day period during which Congress can pass a resolution opposing the sale. Lawmakers seldom challenge arms sales notifications since weapons sales are generally vetted with Congress before being made public.

    In the wake of the so-called “Arab spring,” which swept the governments of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya from power, Bahrain’s Shi’ite majority turned up the political heat in the island country, which put down a pro-democracy uprising earlier this year with the help of neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

    Many Shi’ite areas are witnessing almost nightly clashes with police. Opposition groups say heavy-handed police tactics are worsening tension on the street. Hundreds of Shi’ites were dismissed from their jobs over suspected roles in the protests and many remain in police detention.

    About 30 people, mainly Shi’ites, died when the protest movement erupted in February, but ongoing clashes and deaths in police custody have taken the total past 40, according to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).

    McGovern said it was not in the United States’ national security interest to sell weapons to Bahrain. “Human rights ought to matter in our foreign and military policy,” he said. “Now is not the time to sell weapons to Bahrain.”

    (Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gary Hill)


  2. Horner expresses Bahrain concerns

    (UKPA) – 2 hours ago

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has voiced his concerns with regard to the “rather worrying” situation in Bahrain.

    This year’s grand prix, which was due to be the season-opener, had to be cancelled following a political uprising that resulted in the deaths of a number of protestors. Last week 13 doctors and nurses were handed sentences of 15 years for treating activists wounded during the protests, whilst a further seven received terms of five to 10 years.

    Speaking to Press Association Sport with regard to the prospect of a race in the Gulf kingdom next April, Horner said: “Obviously it’s worrying when you hear the type of news that’s come out of Bahrain. But [F1 supremo] Bernie [Ecclestone], more than anybody, is probably acutely aware of the situation there.”

    He continued: “When the time is right for difficult decisions that have to be made, he’s demonstrated he’s not afraid of making them.

    “But yes, some of the reports that have come out of Bahrain recently, the situation is rather worrying.”

    Horner is naturally hoping if and when a decision is made, it is done so sooner rather than later to avoid the uncertainty that unfolded in the weeks leading up to this season.

    “Prior to the end of the year there is plenty of opportunity, with different world council meetings, for them to look at it,” added Horner.

    “So I’m sure at that level, between the promoter and regulators, it will be discussed in some detail.

    “We have to trust their judgment that they will make the right decisions, which I am sure they will.”

    Copyright © 2011 The Press Association.


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