9-1-2011By Brian Dooley
Director, Human Rights Defenders
Nearly four decades ago, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa was awarded the Freedom Medal of Kansas City, Missouri from the Mayor and its residents. The Bahrain Government’s PR machine is using this and other awards he has received from various parts of the world as “evidence” of the King’s international credentials and appeal.
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has overseen a series of brutal measures since March against the pro-democracy advocates in Bahrain – hundreds have been detained, at least four people have died in custody, and there have been widespread reports of torture. In addition, dozens of doctors and nurses have been harshly punished—including by detention and torture—for treating injured protesters.
Bahraini embassies have been claiming that the King is an internationally respected figure by using awards and medals from places like Kansas City. Does Kansas City really want to be associated with the violent crackdown on democracy advocates over the last few months in Bahrain?
It’s time for Kansas City to unfriend the King of Bahrain. Add your voice!