June 25, 2015

Wyden: State Department Should Not OK Arms Sales to Bahrain

Bahrain Must Improve on Human Rights, End Repression of Peaceful Protesters

Washington, D.C. –Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged the State Department not to allow certain arms sales to Bahrain until the Persian Gulf nation makes major improvements on human rights.

A Bloomberg View article last week reported that Secretary of State John Kerry had committed to resume arms sales to Bahrain, despite a long list of human rights violations detailed in the department’s own Human Rights Report. In April, Amnesty International found the Bahrain government continues to imprison and even torture peaceful protesters.

“These clearly are not the actions of a government that has reformed or is reforming,” Wyden wrote in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. “Until the government of Bahrain makes real and meaningful progress to end the human rights violations and stops repressing the peaceful opposition, I will use my seat in the Senate to oppose any attempts to lift the ban.”

Wyden successfully pressed the administration to block certain arms sales to Bahrain in 2011, in response to the regime’s violent repression of a popular uprising. 

Read the full letter to Secretary Kerry here.


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