News Release

Obama Meeting with Bahraini Despot


Still from video of Bahraini state oppression, via Maryam Alkhawaja's Twitter feed

The Wall Street Journal reports: “President Barack Obama will meet with the crown prince of Bahrain at the White House on Tuesday, an administration official said. But in a show of how delicate relations with the U.S. ally have become, the sit-down is not officially on the president’s schedule.”

HUSAIN ABDULLA, mohajer12 at
Abdulla is director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain. He said today: “There will be no news conference so there will likely be no pictures together, but the reality is that Obama is meeting Salman al-Khalifa. While he’s been depicted as the more enlightened element of the ruling family, the fact is that he is the head of the military and it is escalating its killing of protesters as the regime escalates a crackdown, jailing most of the opposition.

“In his Mideast speech last month, Obama said that the U.S. is ‘committed to [Bahrain’s] security.’ That seems to mean that the U.S. will continue to back the despotic al-Khalifa regime, though they will try to come up with a phony political process. And this isn’t just about Bahrain. If Bahrain makes real democratic progress, it will spur movements in the other Gulf monarchies.”

RICHARD SOLLOM, via Megan Prock,  mprock at
Sollom is deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights and was recently in Bahrain, which was invaded by Saudi Arabia on March 14 to help the monarchy put down protesters. Sollom is co-author of the new report, “Do No Harm: A Call for Bahrain to End Systematic Attacks on Doctors and Patients.”