Washington Post: King Hamad Among Five Human Rights Abusers Backed By the U.S.

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Bahrain
Friday, 11 September 2015


The King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, was ranked in second place in an article by Washington Post's Sudarsan Raghavan posted in September 8, 2015, including a list of five human rights abusers backed by the United States.

The article received widespread reactions after it was posted on the newspaper's website Tuesday.

Speaking of Bahrain, Raghavan said that "the Sunni Muslim monarchy, led by Khalifa, cracked down heavily on largely Shiite protesters during 2011 Arab Spring revolutions with the help of soldiers from neighboring Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates," for "Washington has significant geopolitical interests in Bahrain. Key U.S. ally Saudi Arabia backs Bahrain, and the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet is stationed in Bahrain. So it comes as no surprise that the U.S., after initially criticizing the monarchy for the crackdown, has resumed military aid to a nation that the watchdog group Freedom House describes as ‘Not free.'"

She also quoted Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House, who said: "The Obama administration's decision to lift the hold on military assistance to Bahrain cannot be attributed to improvements in political rights or civil liberties in Bahrain because no such improvements exist." Lagon further stated that "Thousands of Bahrainis remain imprisoned for voicing opposition to the government, and reports of torture are widespread. If anything, punishment and discrimination for ordinary Bahrainis is deepening. As a result of its latest decision, the United States has stepped away from trying to improve respect there for fundamental human rights."

It is noteworthy that King Hamad's name was mentioned among the names of four other "dictators" "egregiously backed by the U.S. that Americans have never heard of." They are: Islam Karimov, president of Uzbekistan, Emomali Rahmon, president of Tajikistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, president of Turkmenistan, and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, president of Equatorial Guinea. Raghavan also referred to Hissene Habre, former president of Chad, who she said was one of Washington's many "men" in sub-Saharan Africa. "Backed by American dollars, they brutalized their own people in the name of fighting communism or terrorism," she stressed.

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