Bahrain dictatorship’s United States politicians’ support


This video is called Royal Torture: Bahrain princess charged with activist abuse.

From Texas on the Potomac blog in the USA:

Ex-Rep. Solomon Ortiz among U.S. pols to speak at government-sponsored conference in Bahrain

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A former Texas Democratic congressman has joined a controversial ultraconservative Republican on the speaking roster for a government-organized conference in a Middle Eastern country known for its record of human rights abuses.

Former Rep.  Solomon Ortiz of Corpus Christi is listed as one of the featured speakers and is set to give closing remarks at the Bahrain International Symposium that will take place March 31 – April 2. Ortiz joins former congressman Dan Burton of Indiana, a conspiracy theorist and bitter political enemy of former President Bill Clinton.

Burton is also a featured speaker at the event. No current members of Congress are on the list of speakers.

Burton made news last year when ProPublica published that during his tenure as a lawmaker, he and his wife went on a trip to Bahrain costing nearly $21,000 and paid for  by the Bahrain American Council, a lobbying group promoting the interests of the Bahrain government in the United States. The group is listed as a co-sponsor of the symposium, along with the University of Bahrain.

Ortiz, who was defeated as a Democrat by Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold in 2010,  served on the House Armed Service Committee during his tenure and his expertise includes military and national security issues. Ortiz voted in favor of the 2006 Bahrain Free Trade Agreement while in Congress.

The symposium’s website indicates the purpose of the three-day conference is to discuss industrial and democratic improvements within the country.  The country’s economy is bolstered by the demand for oil and is ruled by monarchy with a past of censorship and human rights abuses.

A State Department 2011 human rights report says Bahrain’s human rights abuses include stifling citizens from political activism, lack of due process, and the random arrest of activists, political figures, and other citizens and possibly subjecting them to torture.

Other attendees include well-known American conservative John Bolton, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and several representatives of the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Human rights groups have criticised former British defence minister Liam Fox for agreeing to appear at a conference in Bahrain designed to improve the country’s international image amid concerns over its handling of recent civil unrest, according to left-wing blog Left Foot Forward: here.

BAHRAIN: Report: Excessive Use of Tear Gas Endangers Women Protesters Bahrain: here.

21 Bahraini medics released on appeal pledge to get others freed: here.

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