HRF: US Decision to Lift holds on Arms Exports to Bahrain is Major Blow to Reform Efforts
2015-07-02 - 12:48 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Human Rights First (HRF) said that it is concerned about the US State Department's decision to lift the holds on security assistance to the Bahrain Defense Force and National Guard, which was put in place in response to the Bahraini government's crackdown on activists and civil society during peaceful protests in 2011.
"There is no way to dress this up as a good move," said Human Rights First's Brian Dooley. "It's bad for Bahrain, bad for the region, and bad for the United States," he stressed.
In a statement issued on Monday, June 29, 2015, the human rights organization considered that the US move "is a major blow to efforts to push the Bahraini government to reform. Just three weeks ago the regime sentenced Ali Salman, leader of the Kingdom's main opposition group al-Wefaq to prison."
HRF also noted that "the US government is quickly losing its remaining credibility with people in the region who see a disconnect between the administration's talk about human rights and the government's arming of repressive dictators."
"The Obama Administration should be doing everything to stop sectarianism in the Middle East, rather than send more weapons
to bolster a military drawn almost exclusively from Bahrain's Sunni sect," added Dooley.
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