Leahy: Arms Sale To Bahrain 'Sends Wrong Message'
WASHINGTON, May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations. He is the author of the Leahy Law which prohibits U.S. aid to foreign security forces that violate human rights, and of an amendment enacted last year that restricts tear gas and other crowd control items to security forces of countries undergoing democratic transition in the Middle East. He commented on the State Department's announcement Friday of resumption of major military sales to Bahrain:
"The U.S. and the Government of Bahrain share strategic interests, but if history has taught us anything, this is a time to demonstrate our unambiguous support for the aspirations of the Bahraini people for greater political freedom. While I am pleased that the Administration is continuing to withhold tear gas, small arms and other crowd control items from the Bahraini security forces, this arms sale sends the wrong message. The Government of Bahrain has yet to respect the Bahraini people's legitimate demands, or to hold accountable its own police and military officers for arresting, torturing, and killing Bahraini protesters."
SOURCE Office of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy