Recent Developments in Bahrain
Press Statement by Secretary of State John Kerry
July 17, 2016
The United States is deeply concerned by the decision of a Bahraini court to dissolve the opposition Al Wefaq political society and liquidate its assets. This ruling is the latest in a series of disconcerting steps in Bahrain, including the Government of Bahrain’s revocation of Sheikh Isa Qassem’s citizenship and the arrest of human rights activist Nabil Rajab.
We take note of the government’s prior outreach to the opposition, reiterate our disappointment that the opposition boycotted parliamentary elections in 2014, and appreciate the very real security threats facing Bahrain.
However, the government’s recent steps to suppress nonviolent opposition only undermine Bahrain’s cohesion and security, as well as the region’s stability. These actions are inconsistent with U.S. interests and strain our partnership with Bahrain. They also contradict the government’s stated commitments to protecting human rights and achieving reconciliation with all of Bahrain’s communities.
We call on the Government of Bahrain to reverse these and other recent measures, return urgently to the path of reconciliation, and work collectively to address the aspirations of all Bahrainis. This is the best way to marginalize those who support violence, and bring greater security and stability to the region. For our part, the United States will continue to support steps by all sides to advance a political dialogue.