From Zaman daily in Turkey:
While the Arab Spring continues to unfold with events in Syria, Egypt and Libya grabbing the headlines, in the tiny island Gulf state of Bahrain there is increasing concern from the international community over the detention, trial and sentencing of medical doctors and other health professionals by the Bahraini government.
From POMED in the USA:
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland noted “that this sale is designed to support the Bahraini military in its external defense function, specifically in hardening the country against potential attack or nefarious activity by countries like Iran, et cetera, and we do have an interest in Bahrain and our other Gulf partners being able to be strong militarily vis-à-vis the regional challenges that they face.”
Yet, when further pressed about the issue of making sure once the arms are delivered, how the U.S. will confirm they are not used internally, Nuland noted “We do have in all of these sales, and including in this one, end-use monitoring agreements where we are allowed to go in and monitor how this equipment is being used; is it being used for the purpose that we agreed to when we agreed to the sale.” A follow up question was asked about the arms sale being used as a bargaining chip for the Bahraini [government] to change their human rights record, the press secretary responded “I don’t think that’s an accurate way to portray this. This is a foreign military sale for use against an external threat. However, whenever we sell military equipment, we have to – we hold countries to high human rights standards.” Nuland further pressed the issue of the sale will only be used for external use and a monitoring system will be in place, but gave no further detail about the issue of human rights or actual accountability.
Bahrain regime continues to target freedom of expression by taking journalists and photographers to trials: here.
BCHR and CIVICUS Joint Open Letter to the King of Bahrain: here.
BCHR Letter to ILO re Bahrain’s commitment to decent work standards and the violations against trade union action: here.
Tumblr blocked in Saudi Arabia? Here.