Joe Biden has been urged to "immediately" review American policy towards Bahrain in a letter calling on the newly elected president to consider relocating the US Fifth Fleet from the Kingdom because of its ongoing human rights violations including allegations of torture and arbitrary detention of political prisoners.
The letter sent on the day of President Biden's inauguration was sent by Husain Abdulla, executive director of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB). He is originally from the Gulf Kingdom but his Bahraini citizenship was revoked due to his human rights activism. He leads ADHRB's efforts to ensure that US policies support the democracy and human rights movement in Bahrain.
In his letter to Biden Abdulla warns that the "political instability created within Bahrain by the systematic, violent, and unceasing repression of its people is also a direct threat to US security interests in the Persian Gulf Region and globally."
Citing reports of a number of human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Abdulla presented details of the human rights violations perpetrated by the Government of Bahrain which he said are "undisputed."
Thousands of individuals are said to have been arrested, imprisoned and executed. Hundreds more have had their citizenship revoked and thousands of political prisoners are languishing in Bahraini prisons.
Abdulla also mentioned a report by the US State Department about the level of repression in the Kingdom, which he said documented a litany of abuses by the Government of Bahrain, including allegations of torture, arbitrary detention, political prisoners, and restrictions on freedom of expression and political participation.
Accusing the US of "turning a blind eye" to the repression due to "mutual benefits" such as Bahrain's housing of the US Fifth Fleet, Abdulla warned that America's current approach is building "untenable security risks into the relationship for the US."
Insisting that the security of both countries was at stake, Abdullah said that "the US should immediately begin to develop policies and programmes focused on holding officials of the Government of Bahrain accountable for their systematic human rights violations against the people of Bahrain."
Biden was urged to "conduct a thorough review of US policy and develop and implement a set of policies and programmes toward Bahrain targeted at better achieving sustainable US interests in both human rights and security.