My letter to Jim Moran on Bahrain human rights
This letter was mailed to my congressional representative, Jim Moran. I mailed a similar version to his 23 colleagues in the House and Senate who signed the cited letter to Secretary Clinton. Please help by writing your own letters of support. You can make a difference!
March 25, 2012
Re: Your letter of February 14 to Secretary Clinton recommending postponement of arms sales to Bahrain, pending improvement in human rights; request for statement on Bahrain
Dear Representative Moran:
I am writing to express my thanks to you and your colleagues for letting Secretary Clinton know you do not approve of the sale of military items and services to Bahrain at this time. As a concerned citizen, I also request your ongoing support for human rights in Bahrain. While I appreciate Bahrain’s strategic importance to the U.S., I feel we can do more to influence our ally. Ultimately, this is in our nation’s best interests, in every way.
You may be aware of recent developments. Since your letter was sent, more than 30 civilians have died from being attacked indiscriminately with tear gas, including two deaths Saturday while the civilians were inside their own homes. On Tuesday, a young teen who is the nephew of a political prisoner was found unconscious in the street, having been brutally tortured. Police continue to maim unarmed civilians with birdshot pellets and rubber bullets. Political prisoners languish in prison without proper medical care for injuries sustained through torture. The sham trial of 20 nurses and doctors is proceeding, despite our State Department’s rebuke last fall. And Juan Mendez, the UN special rapporteur for torture, was denied the opportunity to investigate as scheduled this month, because the Ministry says they need until July to show demonstrable changes to him. The situation has become insupportable.
Our State Department says reforms are happening at an acceptable rate, when even Bahrain’s own Ministry admits to the UN they are not. On February 22, our UN Ambassador to the Human Rights Council, Amanda Donahoe, stated that human rights in Bahrain was not a priority for the Council because “the Bahraini efforts have been relatively good.” This claim flies in the face of every report of the past two months. For example, the head of the Bahrain Independent Commission for Inquiry, Cherif Boussioni, stated that the Bahrain government was not following through on the Commission’s recommendations, as promised (Wall Street Journal, March 11).
You have influence and people listen to what you say. Would you please make a public statement on Bahrain, and make it available through your social media channels? This would inform the Bahrain government that the U.S. will no longer look the other way when innocent civilians are oppressed, tortured, and imprisoned. Thank you for considering my request.
Mary Fletcher Jones
- 24 members of U.S. Congress oppose arms sale to Bahrain until human rights conditions improve (humanrightstodolist.wordpress.com)