Nearly one year after the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry released a report recommending legal and policy changes to improve human rights in that country, the kingdom’s regime has failed to live up to its pledge to implement those changes, according to panelists at a Congressional briefing Wednesday.
In some ways, in fact, the human rights situation is worse now than when the report was released last November, said PHR Deputy Director Rick Sollom, one of the panelists.
Several medics are serving prison sentences stemming from their medical treatment of pro-democracy protesters. The Government of Bahrain has not responded to demands by PHR and other human rights groups that it release the medics and allow other professionals dismissed from their jobs for political reasons to return to work. The Bahraini authorities continue to target protesters and those who may be aligned with them with physical attacks and the rampant misuse of toxic chemical agents.
The Congressional briefing was hosted by Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, which released a report detailing the regime’s lack of progress in implementing human rights reforms.
Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) expressed his support for human rights defenders in Bahrain. He condemned the Bahraini government’s recent act of stripping citizenship from political dissidents and urged the Obama Administration to take a stronger stance against human rights violations in Bahrain. PHR thanks Representative Ellison and other Congressional leaders for their support.