Briefing: Bahrain’s Fake Reform?

Briefing: Bahrain’s Fake Reform?

Bahrain’s Fake Reform? Human Rights Failures on the Eve of the Manama Dialogue

Thursday, Dec 1st, 2016
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
402 Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC

 

Amnesty International
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain

RSVP to Avram Reisman (areisman@aiusa.org)

bahrain-map

Map data (c) 2016 Google, ORION-ME

 

In 2011, Bahrain convulsed with public protests and a bloody crackdown by the government. Amnesty International’s latest report on Bahrain documents how the human rights institutions announced by the King of Bahrain have failed to break the government’s long-standing culture of impunity.

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Will President Obama put human rights on the agenda during Saudi Arabia summit?

Amnesty International is calling on President Obama to make human rights a core part of his agenda this week in Saudi Arabia.

Obama-Salman-SaudiPresident Obama is meeting this week with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, along with the heads of state from the Gulf Cooperation Council:  Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, and Qatar.

Read our letter and press release.

Testimony: Syria After 5 Years

Testimony:  Syria After 5 Years

WithSyriaGraphic

This morning I spoke at a Syria briefing in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Organized by Crisis Action, the briefing focused on the 5 year anniversary of the start of the armed conflict in Syria.

Syria: Hope after 5 Years – Justice, Humanitarian Aid and looking to Syria’s Future
Friday March 18, 10:00am-12:00pm

 

 

Briefing Description:

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Qatar, FIFA, and Labor Exploitation – My Senate Testimony

“… in the most extreme examples, foreign migrant workers have become suicidal after being trapped without pay by employers in Qatar. They have been forced to depend on charity from others simply to eat. Meanwhile, their family members in poor communities in their countries of origin can face eviction and other serious challenges…”

US Senate Testimony on Qatar Labor Exploitation by Sunjeev Bery
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security

Hearing - 2015-07-15 - Qatar FIFA - Senate - Sunjeev Bery

“Examining the Governance and Integrity of International Soccer”
July 15, 2015
Verbal Remarks (PDF) / Written Testimony (PDF)Hearing Page / CSPAN Video

Media:  New York Times (1, 2), GuardianUSA TodayReutersBloombergVice NewsMcClatchy DC, Roll Call

Full Text of Verbal Remarks:

“Chairman Moran, Ranking Member Blumenthal, distinguished members of the Subcommittee, and distinguished guests: On behalf of Amnesty International, thank you for the opportunity to address the issue of human rights in Qatar and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has brought into global focus the shocking conditions that are routine for migrant workers in Qatar.

Under Qatar’s Kafala employment sponsorship system, foreign migrant workers cannot change employers or leave Qatar without the permission of their current employer. Even if an employer is not paying the employee, the employer can still block the employee from changing jobs or leaving the country.

In 2012, the Qatar National Research Fund funded a survey of some 1,000 low-income labor migrants: Continue reading

Destroying Boats is Not the Answer for Libya’s Refugees and Migrants

Today I spoke with Meghna Chakrabarti of NPR and WBUR’s “Here and Now” on why European proposals to destroy boats won’t help refugees and migrants who are escaping ‪#‎Libya‬:

Listen:  http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/05/11/military-crackdown-migrant-traffickers

 

Will a US citizen get a life sentence tomorrow in Egypt?

U.S. citizen Mohamed Soltan is wrongfully imprisoned in Egypt and on hunger strike.  Mr. Soltan is at risk of receiving life imprisonment tomorrow on trumped up charges and for so-called “crimes” that are not recognized under international standards and human rights law.

Mohamed Soltan

Will the Obama Administration do more than just privately push for his release?  There is no indication that Egyptian officials are going to resolve his case in a positive manner without increased public pressure.

Read our Amnesty International letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry.

Mr. Soltan is a dual US-Egypt national who was arrested in August 2013 as part of a sweeping crackdown on supporters of Egypt’s ousted president, Mohamed Morsi.  During his wrongful imprisonment, he had to undergo a medical procedure by a cellmate without anesthesia or sterilization to remove the supporting metal pins from his arm.  Prison authorities had refused to have him transferred to a hospital to receive proper medical care.

9 Questions for the U.S. Government on the Middle East:

Saudi Arabia:  U.S. intelligence cooperation

Is the U.S. providing intelligence to the Government of Saudi Arabia that can be used by Saudi Arabian authorities to violate the human rights of peaceful reformers and critics?

Saudi Arabia:  Prisoners of Conscience

What steps is the U.S. government taking to secure the release of prisoners of conscience like Raif Badawi from Saudi Arabia’s prisons?

Israel:  

What steps is the U.S. taking to prevent the Government of Israel from using U.S. arms to commit human rights violations against Palestinian civilians living under Israeli occupation?

Syria: Refugee resettlement

There are now 4 million Syrian refugees.  Over the last four years, the U.S. has only resettled a few hundred Syrian refugees.  How many Syrian refugees does the U.S. expect to permanently resettle in the U.S. in 2015?

Syria/Iraq:  U.S. military assistance

How will the U.S. prevent U.S. military assistance in Iraq and Syria from facilitating more war crimes and human rights abuses?
What steps is the U.S. taking to protect Sunni communities from abuses by Shi’a militias affiliated with the Iraqi government?

Syria/Iraq:  U.S. air strikes

Is the U.S. investigate reports of civilian casualties from U.S. air strikes in Syria and Iraq?

Will the U.S. publish the results of these investigations, hold accountable those responsible for civilian casualties, and provide reparations to families and survivors?

Bahrain:  U.S. arms sales

In 2012, the U.S. State Department announced that it would not allow the sale of arms to Bahrain “typically used by police and other security forces for internal security” or “crowd control.”  Has the U.S. resumed the sale of arms to Bahrain in this category?

Is the U.S. currently providing arms to Bahraini security forces that can be used against peaceful protestors and critics of the government?