Bahrain dictatorship gets US arms again


This video is called Head of the Bahrain Nursing Society Tortured.

From Associated Press:

US resumes some arms sales to Bahrain

Posted: May 11, 2012 8:57 PM Updated: May 12, 2012 1:07 AM

By MATTHEW LEE

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is resuming some arms shipments to Bahrain after most were suspended last year because of a government crackdown on political dissent.

The State Department said Friday the administration still has human rights concerns about the strategic Persian Gulf island nation and will work with the government to improve the situation.

Yeah right; claiming that a dictatorship will bring human rights and democracy. I cannot believe that the United States government is that naive.

But it said it is releasing the equipment because it is in U.S. national interests and is necessary for the defense of Bahrain, which is host to the U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet.

“Bahrain is an important security partner and ally in a region facing enormous challenges,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement. Maintaining the ability to respond to such challenges is a critical part of the U.S. commitment to Gulf security, she said.

Among the equipment being released are harbor patrol boats for the Bahrain Coast Guard and upgrades to F-16 fighter engines, officials said. Officials could not give an estimate of cost of the items but the package suspended last year was worth $53 million.

Human rights activists denounced the move.

“This sale is completely out of step with the United States’ stated commitment to reform in Bahrain,” said Brian Dooley of Human Rights First. “Where is the progress that warrants the reward of arms? This new sale will only damage U.S. credibility among those working for democracy in Bahrain and across the Middle East.”

Friday’s announcement followed separate meetings in Washington this week between Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

But it also came as Bahraini riot police on Friday fired tear gas and stun grenades during clashes with anti-government protesters following a rally calling for the release of detained activists, according to witnesses. The violence was just the latest in a string of incidents [of] the unrest in which at least 50 people have died since it began in February 2011.

From the Office of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy:

press release

May 11, 2012, 4:58 p.m. EDT

Leahy: Arms Sale To Bahrain ‘Sends Wrong Message’

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations. He is the author of the Leahy Law which prohibits U.S. aid to foreign security forces that violate human rights, and of an amendment enacted last year that restricts tear gas and other crowd control items to security forces of countries undergoing democratic transition in the Middle East. He commented on the State Department’s announcement Friday of resumption of major military sales to Bahrain:

“The U.S. and the Government of Bahrain share strategic interests, but if history has taught us anything, this is a time to demonstrate our unambiguous support for the aspirations of the Bahraini people for greater political freedom. While I am pleased that the Administration is continuing to withhold tear gas, small arms and other crowd control items from the Bahraini security forces, this arms sale sends the wrong message. The Government of Bahrain has yet to respect the Bahraini people’s legitimate demands, or to hold accountable its own police and military officers for arresting, torturing, and killing Bahraini protesters.”

Bahrain Live Coverage: Marches and US Arms Sales: here.

Bahraini protesters demand release of women: here.

From the international human rights federation FIDH:

Bahrain: FIDH Demands the Immediate Release of its deputy secretary general Nabeel Rajab

Last Update 6 May 2012

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) is gravely concerned about the arrest of its Deputy Secretary General and the continuing targeting of human rights defenders in Bahrain. On May 5th 2012, Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights, was arrested upon arrival at Manama airport from Lebanon and is currently detained in Al Hawra police station.
The police officers who arrested Rajab stated that the Public Prosecution has ordered his arrest, however neither Rajab nor his lawyers have been informed of the reasons for his arrest.

England: Protest at Downing Street against inviting Bahrain’s dictator‏: here.

10 thoughts on “Bahrain dictatorship gets US arms again

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