US Bill Links Arms Sales to Bahrain to Implementation of BICI Recommendations

2015-08-08 - 4:52 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Members of the US Senate and Congress are working on introducing legislations in order to link military aid to Bahrain to a certification presented by the US State Department that Bahrain has fully implemented all of the recommendations by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) to strengthen human rights in the country.

Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and co-chair of the Tom Lantos, joined Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) to announce a bipartisan push to block the sale or transfer of certain arms to Bahrain.

Congressman McGovern will introduce legislation in the House when Congress returns in September and Senators Wyden and Rubio introduced companion legislation in the Senate earlier this week.

"As a world leader, America has a responsibility to strengthen human rights at home and abroad," McGovern said, criticizing "the recent renewal of US military aid to Bahrain - a country that continues to repress its own people." He further stated that "if the US is truly committed to regional stability, we must push allies like Bahrain to embrace policies that will strengthen free societies, not silence entire segments of their population."

"This is the only way to combat extremism. That is why I plan to introduce this important legislation to block the sale of certain arms to Bahrain until they take the strong steps needed to improve human rights in their country," he added.

"I am proud to partner with Senators Wyden and Rubio on this important effort and urge my colleagues to support this bill when Congress returns," stressed McGovern.

For his part, Senator Ron Wyden said: "This legislation sends the clear message US arms should not aid and abet the Bahraini government's continued repression of its own people."

Wyden further expressed his concern saying: "It is deeply troubling that the State Department has decided to lift its ban on certain arms sales to Bahrain while it continues to torture and imprison peaceful political protesters."

"Senator Rubio and I plan to push hard to pass this bill and reverse this distressing decision [to lift arms ban on Bahrain]," he added.

"The Bahraini government's ongoing repression of its citizens is unacceptable, and the US should not be providing weapons which could be used to suppress peaceful dissent until the government adopts meaningful political reforms," said Senator Marco Rubio.

"The State Department has made a grave error in looking the other way on human rights in Bahrain, and Congress should reverse this decision," Rubio further stated.

Arabic Issue 

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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