Public Congressional hearing on Bahrain
The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission will hold a hearing this Wednesday in Washington, DC to hear witnesses report on the extent to which the government of Bahrain has implemented the human rights protections recommendations made by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011.
The hearing is open to the public and will take place in Room 2237 of the Rayburn House Office Building (second floor) on Wednesday, August 1, from 1 pm to 3 pm.
The Rayburn Office Building occupies a site southwest of the Capitol bounded by Independence Avenue, South Capitol Street, C Street S.W., and First Street S.W. (View map) in Washington, DC.
Witnesses will appear in three panels.
The witness for the first panel will be Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator for Oregon. Senator Wyden was one of 24 senators and congressional representatives to oppose the sale of arms to Bahrain.
The witness for the second panel will be Michael Posner, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Mr. Posner has visited Bahrain five times in the past two years, the most recently on June 12 of this year, when he spoke to the press at the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain.
Four witnesses will testify on the third and final panel. They will be
Matar Ebrahim Matar, former member of Bahrain’s parliament and leading member of Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, the largest political party in Bahrain. Mr. Matar recently appeared on Al Jazeera’s television news program, The Stream (video link) to opine about the state of reforms in Bahrain.
Leslie Campbell, Senior Associate Director and Regional Director of Middle East and North Africa Programs, National Democratic Institute. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the National Democratic Institute was formed by the U.S. government to foster movements toward democracy in foreign nations, and is funded both by taxpayers (through the State Department and other agencies) and by contributions from foreign governments (including, notably, the Kingdom of Bahrain) and donations from others. The organization’s work in Bahrain has focused on encouraging citizen participation in elections.
Tom Walinowski, Director of Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch is a New York-based nonprofit organization that has advocated for human rights in Bahrain.
Richard Sollom, Deputy Director of Physicians for Human Rights. This organization has advocated for dismissal of charges against the Bahraini medics and has called for a cease of the indiscriminate and excessive use of tear gas in Bahrain, which has been linked to fatalities and miscarriages. The nonprofit is based in Massachusetts.
From Union Station:
Start off going around Columbus Circle and joining 1st Street Northeast, going south. Take a left onto D Street, and shortly afterward a right onto 2nd Street Northeast. Follow 2nd Street South until it becomes 2nd Street Southeast, then take a right onto C Street Southeast. Follow C Street down the hill. The Rayburn House Office Building will be the fourth large building on your right, at the bottom of the hill.
From Capitol South Station:
Start off walking north on 1st Street, and cross C Street. Take a left and walk down the hill, following C Street. The Rayburn House Office Building will be the third large building on your right, at the bottom of the hill.
From Federal Center Southwest Station:
Start off walking north on 3rd Street, and take a right at C Street. Follow C Street to 2nd Street, then cross the road and the park. Stay on C Street across the roads, and you will see the Rayburn House Office Building on your left.
- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner reiterates calls for accountability, restraint in Bahrain (bahraincoordinatingcommittee.org)
- Ambassador Donahoe calls for reforms in Bahrain (bahraincoordinatingcommittee.org)