To: US-Bahrain Business Council, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Overland Capital Group, Raytheon International, Inc., RJI Capital Corporation, TAIB Securities, Inc., Aluminum Bahrain B.S.C (Alba), Arcapita, inc., Bahrain Financial Harbour...

Urge Washington to support human rights in Bahrain

Urge President Obama to demand that the Bahraini monarchy end its human rights abuses of its Shiite


President Obama must speak out forcefully to the monarchy in Bahrain, and demand an end to gross human rights abuses in that country. President Obama has condemned human rights abuses in other countries, notably Egypt and Libya, and has committed American forces to support the fight for democracy in Libya, yet he has not made any strong statements about the torture and abuse of the people of Bahrain by the Bahraini monarchy. He must use his influence to pressure the Bahraini monarchy to cease its torture of its citizens.

For the past several years, the Sunni monarchy has returned to persecution and torture of its population, which is primarily Shiite. A Human Rights Watch report in February, 2010, documented the renewed torture of Bahraini citizens. Many reports by Bahraini government physicians detail hideous torture practices by Bahraini security forces, including the arrest of children. By respected accounts, the recent protests in Bahrain have been peaceful, as Bahrainis voice their desire for freedom and democracy, yet the Bahraini monarchy has cracked down on protesters hard, using Saudi tanks. The United States' response has been nearly silent, although the President has made his position against similar crack-downs in Egypt and Libya clearly and publicly known. President Obama should use his influence not only to condemn this torture in the strongest terms, but to demand that the monarchy stop this persecution. The United States Navy's Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain, and provides most of the security in that country. Surely this alone should provide an impetus for the President to demand that the Bahraini monarchy stop the torture and abuse of Bahrainis, or suffer the consequences of USA disapproval. Our support of democracy must be universal, not selective.

The United States must be consistent in its support of democratic rights, and in its condemnation of human rights abuses, and the American President must do everything possible to stop the police-state tactics of the Bahraini monarchy.

Why is this important?

Bahrain's Sunni-led monarchy has cracked down severly on the mostly peaceful protests in that country. The protests have been led by the country's Shiite majority. Saudi tanks have assisted the monarchy in its brutal attacks on Bahraini citizens. President Obama has deplored precisely this kind of brutality in other countries, but he has turned a deaf ear regarding Bahrain.

The US Navy's Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain. The security of Bahrain rests on this Fifth Fleet, creating a situation in which the opinion of the United States matters in Bahrain. Yet President Obama and the American Congress continue to ignore or soft-pedal the gross human rights abuses in Bahrain. It is time for America to stand strong on our ideals of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the rights of a people to be heard. The United States speaks up officially in support of democratic goals in Egypt and Libya, while ignoring the police-state tactics of the monarchy in Bahrain.

Please sign this petition to urge President Obama to speak out about these abuses, and to put pressure on the Bahraini monarchy to cease its persecution of those who speak for democratic ideals in Bahrain. Urge the President to use his huge influence to stop the torture, detention and other abuses in Bahrain.