The U.S. announced in June that that it would lift restrictions on selling arms to Bahrain. Human rights observers criticize the move based on “lack of basic freedoms” in the country and continued efforts by the Bahraini government to “quash dissent”. The U.S. State Department said in a statement that, “While we do not think that the human rights situation in Bahrain is adequate...we believe it is important to recognize that the government of Bahrain has made some meaningful progress on human rights reforms and reconciliation.” We’ll discuss the U.S. arms decision and human rights in Bahrain the with Beth Ann Toupin, Amnesty International USA's country specialist for Iraq and Bahrain. She keeps track of Bahraini human rights advocates and civil employees, such as teachers, who are imprisoned, disappeared or tortured for criticizing their government.
(Photo: Flickr/William Murphy)