Islam World

ADHRB calls on Congress to raise concerns about human rights in the Gulf States

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights Organization in Bahrain (ADHRB) called on the US Congress to raise concerns about the human rights situation in the Gulf States.
“The United States Constitution considers Congress an equal branch of the federal government and specifically spells out its power to regulate and hold accountable the president’s actions. Even in foreign affairs, federal laws also specify the mechanisms by which private arms sales to foreign governments can be made. All sales are made by a licensed company approved by the State Department and subject to legislation by Congress to replace the administration’s mandate. Unfortunately, garnering votes for veto overrides is extremely difficult in an era when President Trump has such a tight grip on his party that it has never been done,” the organization said in a statement.
It added, “This does not mean that Congress has not attempted, since 2017, to have passed three joint resolutions rejecting arms sales to the Gulf States, but all three times have been rejected.”
ADHRB continued, “While approval of arms sales is one of the most effective ways for Congress to exercise its constitutional authority and express opinion on foreign affairs, it is not the only way. In the past five years, 69 bills have been formally introduced in Congress in an attempt to impede the various Gulf Cooperation Council states, or US relations with them. These decisions range from the annual decisions presented by Senator Wyden to celebrate the anniversary of Pearl Harbor in Bahrain, to a bill requiring the US Department of the Interior to issue annual reports on educational materials released by the Saudi Ministry of Education. “
The organization concluded, “While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has received the most scrutiny through 53 draft laws calling for it by name, the UAE and Bahrain, although they are smaller in terms of the size of the country, are committing human rights atrocities to the same extent, and have also received strong condemnation. A 2015 bill introduced by Congressman McGovern and Senator Wyden would have stopped all arms sales to Bahrain until the State Department decides that Bahrain will implement all the recommendations of the Independent Investigation Commission. However, this reasonable law did not receive a single vote in the commission.”

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