Congressman W H – Bahrain Freedom Movement

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02/04/2010 – 1:50 am | Hits: 3319

Dear Yusuf, Thank you for contacting me to express your strong concerns about human rights violations in Bahrain and your opposition to President Obama’s fiscal year 2010 request for $19.5 million in economic and military aid for that nation. I value your point of view and appreciate the opportunity to respond.

           Like you, I am deeply troubled by the widespread human rights violations in many countries around the world. As a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, I passionately believe that people from every ethnicity, religion, and nation have certain inalienable rights that should be welcomed in society and protected by law. These rights include the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the freedom to pursue one’s desired destiny in life. I believe the United States must continue to boldly proclaim the importance of these fundamental human rights to allies and adversaries alike.
           As you indicate, many are concerned about human rights violations in Bahrain. The State Department’s 2008 Human Rights Report for Bahrain discussed some alleged human rights violations pertaining to prisoners. Perhaps more disturbing, it concluded, “Citizens did not have the right to change their government. The government restricted civil liberties, including freedoms of press, speech, assembly, association, and some religious practices. Domestic violence against women and children persisted, as did discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, nationality, and sect, especially against the Shia majority population. Trafficking in persons and restrictions on the rights of expatriate workers remained problems.” As such, Bahrain clearly has serious human rights shortfalls.
 Although I do not serve on the House Committee on Appropriations, which will review the President’s funding requests and make the final decision about funding levels for Bahrain and other nations and programs in upcoming House appropriations legislation, please know that I share your concerns about Bahrain and will keep them in mind when the relevant appropriations measure comes to a vote later this year.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.  Please don’t hesitate to do so again in the future regarding this or any other federal issue important to you.  In addition, I would like to invite you to visit my web site on the Internet at where you can find additional information on my position on a variety of issues and sign up for occasional e-mail updates on the federal issues important to you.


                                                             Sincerely,                                                                                                                           W H

                                                             Member of Congress

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