Don’t Sell Arms to Regime Accused of Massive Human Rights Violations

Target: Rex Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State

Goal: Don’t give Bahrain arms unless it respects human rights conditions.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just quietly agreed to drop human rights conditions from a massive arms deal with Bahrain, according to media reports. Behind closed doors, Tillerson has given the Department of State the green light to go ahead with the sale of 19 F-16 fighter jets to the small Middle Eastern monarchy. The deal is worth $2.8 billion.

Talk of the deal itself is nothing new, though the Obama administration long maintained it could only go ahead if Bahrain could adhere to a series of basic human rights guarantees. Until now, these human rights conditions have kept the deal from being completed, amid ongoing concerns over the Bahraini government’s efforts to crack down on political dissidents.

In 2011, Bahrain was hit with massive anti-government Arab Spring protests. Since then, the government has been accused of cracking down on pro-democracy activities, opposition political parties, human rights defenders and other critics of the regime.

According to Amnesty International, the Bahraini government still oversees widespread torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trials. If you believe a regime like this shouldn’t be given U.S. arms, then sign our petition demanding the Tillerson reinstate human rights conditions on the F-16 sale.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,

The Bahraini regime is among the worst human rights abusers in the Middle East. Since 2011, the government in Manama has been accused of violently suppressing all forms of political dissent, and today dozens of activists remain behind bars simply for criticizing the regime. The U.S. can play a positive role in Bahrain by refusing to provide the regime with arms until it can provide basic human rights guarantees. Sadly, recent news reports suggest you have agreed to strip human rights conditions from the planned sale of 19 F-16 fighter jets to the Bahraini armed forces. If these reports are accurate, this would make the U.S. complicit in the deplorable actions of one of the region’s cruelest regimes.

Therefore, we urge you to ensure the Department of State maintains the Obama era conditions requiring Bahrain to commit to human rights guarantees. If these guarantees cannot be met, then the regime shouldn’t be allowed to purchase these F-16s. Do the right thing and be on the side of human rights.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond

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4 Comments

  1. America should not be selling fighter jets to Bahrain as long as Bahrain is involved in unjust wars, and in the brutal oppression of their own citizens. America is already deeply involved in enough brutal regimes and wars, such as Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen and Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

  2. Paulette Mirfield says:

    I understand common sense is an endangered idea in our current administration but COME ON! When are humans going to become humane? We are our own worst enemy.

  3. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    guns are not for sale!

  4. Rosslyn Osborne says:

    ‘It is incumbent upon the Sovereigns of the world — may God assist them — unitedly, to hold fast unto this Peace, which is the chief instrument for the protection of all mankind. It is Our hope that they will arise to achieve what will be conducive to the well-being of man…They must put away the weapons of war, and turn to the instruments of universal reconstruction. Should one king rise up against another, all the other kings must arise to deter him. Baha’i Faith Writings

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