10-12-2011By Brian Dooley
Director, Human Rights Defenders
Good news! Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman James McGovern (D-MA) have stepped up and are leading the fight in Congress to stop the arms sale to Bahrain’s brutal monarchy. They introduced a joint Resolution of Disapproval in Congress that will block this sale immediately. But now your Senators and Representatives need to hear from you.
Bahrain’s pro-democracy protests have been the largest, proportionately, of any country in the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have risen up to demand their human rights. The Bahraini regime, trying to protect its power, has abducted, tortured, and killed peaceful protestors.
Home of the Navy’s U.S. Fifth Fleet, Bahrain is an important strategic U.S. ally, and the United States has been muted in its criticisms of the regime’s brutality. Now the Pentagon intends to sell $53 million worth of armored Humvees and TOW missiles to Bahrain. The United States should not reward a regime that brutalizes its people.
If the United States aspires to be a global leader on human rights and inspire those fighting for democracy in the Middle East and elsewhere, it simply cannot reward repressive regimes with weapons. It must side with human rights, not dictators.