Is Bahrain Hearing the World’s Advice? Join Me At A Talk About Human Rights in Bahrain

On Wednesday, I’ll be speaking about human rights in Bahrain at a DC panel organized by Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB).

More info here, or see below:

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Under the Universal Periodic Review, every country in the world goes through a human rights review by its peers in the United Nations.  How has Bahrain fared under its review?  How well has Bahrain’s government implemented the recommendations of governments and civil society?

On Wednesday, I will get into the details when it comes to this repressive ally of the United States.

HRW: Dispatches: “Obama Refuses to Talk Human Rights in Saudi Arabia”

http://www.hrw.org/node/124305

March 31, 2014
By Adam Coogle
Human Rights Watch

US President Barack Obama left Riyadh on the afternoon of March 29 apparently without raising human rights issues during talks with Saudi officials. The trip came at a time when Saudi Arabia has scaled up its persecution of peaceful dissidents and human rights activists – including one who is expected to receive a long prison sentence next week; deported thousands of undocumented migrants who have been detained in terrible conditions; and continues its systematic discrimination against women.

Although billed as a “fence-mending” trip, it is hard not to wonder what it would take for Obama – or any senior US official – to shed some light on these pervasive abuses.

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Over 50 Members of Congress Urge President Obama to Stand Up for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia

Over 50 Members of Congress have signed a letter to President Obama urging him to end business as usual with Saudi Arabia’s repressive government and stand up for human rights.  For too long, the U.S. has prioritized politics and oil over basic freedom in its alliance with Saudi Arabia’s monarchy.  The effort has been led by U.S. Representatives Trent Franks, Jim McGovern, Frank Wolf, and Jackie Speier.

The Franks-McGovern-Wolf-Speier congressional letter urges President Obama to:

  • Seek a meeting with women activists in Saudi Arabia who are challenging the country’s ban on women drivers.
  • Seek a meeting with family members of prominent peaceful human rights advocates who are imprisoned.
  • Urge King Abdullah to make specific human rights reforms:  religious freedom, lifting bans on freedom of association, ending torture, reforming laws that criminalize peaceful dissent, and stopping repression of women and religious minorities.

Diverse and noteworthy organizations are backing the effort — christian religious freedom organizations, US women’s rights groups, human rights advocates, and more:

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Financial Times Withdraws Award To Narendra Modi, Gujarat’s Chief Minister

The Huffington Post
Posted: September 11, 2009
By Sanjeev Bery

Following growing public criticism, the Financial Times magazine fDi has withdrawn its recent “Asian Personality of the Year” award to Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat.

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Why Deepak Chopra is wrong

The Huffington Post
05/05/09
by Sanjeev Bery, Sahar Shafqat

It is always easy to tell someone else what they need to do. Just point your finger, clear your throat, and boldly offer your advice. Don’t worry about the realities of history — just speak your mind.

In his recent essay, “The Dilemma of the ‘good’ Muslim,” Deepak Chopra is guilty of exactly this. He ignores the complexities of history and blithely proclaims that Muslims should take responsibility for a whole host of enemies: oligarchs, military regimes, anti-Semites, jihadis. Chopra declares: “We — and here I mean the entire world — need the vast majority of Muslims to wake up and then to stand up.”

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