NYT: Security Agreement Constitutes US "Reward" and "Green Light" to Bahrain to Increase Political Repression
2023-09-16 - 1:37 p
Bahrain Mirror: The New York Times said that the security agreement the US signed with Bahrain on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, "could serve as a template for other Gulf Arab governments, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, that have recently demanded stronger security guarantees from the United States."
The newspaper noted in a report that one of the provisions in the agreement, signed between Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa in Washington "allows Bahrain and the United States to invite other countries to join the pact."
A US administration official said that both countries had committed to "confront any external aggression." While the agreement "does not cross the threshold of a treaty" - which would require Senate consent - it is a "legally binding" pledge that is intended to deter conflict in the Middle East, the official said.
Sayed Ahmed Al-Wadaei, director of advocacy at the Britain-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, called the Biden administration hypocritical for supporting a government that was accused of torturing detainees during the Arab Spring and jailing hundreds of political opponents, sentencing many of them to life in prison.
"The security agreement constituted a "reward" that Bahraini authorities could interpret as "a green light" to increase political repression," he added.
"The U.S. administration are siding with the Bahraini regime and abandoning political prisoners and the most basic desire for human rights," Sayed Al-Wadaei said.
The agreement with Washington was signed a day after hundreds of Bahraini prisoners who had been refusing meals for more than one month announced they were suspending their hunger strike amid deteriorations in their health, and government pledges to improve their conditions.