- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa’s argument (“Stability is prerequisite for progress,” Commentary, April 20) is striking in its inconsistency.

It acknowledges the legitimacy of protesters’ grievances about civil and political rights but ignores Bahrain’s systematic violations of those rights. Nowhere does the king address the government’s brutal crackdown on ordinary Bahrainis who peacefully demanded reforms or its subsequent campaign to punish and crush dissent: security forces breaking down doors at 3 a.m., repeated attacks on hospitals and doctors trying to treat the wounded and the detention without charge of hundreds of peaceful political activists and trade unionists. He also fails to mention the suspicious deaths in custody of four detainees since April 2, nor the effective takeover of the only critical newspaper in town.

The king says he needs aid to create more jobs. But his government just fired hundreds of workers for participating in protests seeking political accountability.

He seems to think that the United States should reward repression with a Marshall Plan-like scheme that would provide even more aid to his security forces. Instead, the United States should halt security assistance. If the king really cares about his country’s future, he’ll put an end to these rampant abuses now and begin meaningful political reforms.


Deputy Washington director

Human Rights Watch


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide