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Bahrain Kicks Out Visiting American Human Rights Official

Written by Noor Mattar On 9 July 2014 @ 0:08 am | 6 Comments

In Arabic, Bahrain, Breaking News, English, Human Rights, International Relations, Middle East & North Africa, Weblog

Bahrain's opposition held 'Democracy for Everybody' protests in capital city   Manama on 19 March 2013. Photo by Satraawi Bahrain. Copyright Demotix. [1]

Bahrain's opposition held ‘Democracy for Everybody’ protests in capital city Manama on
19 March 2013. Photo by Satraawi Bahrain. Copyright Demotix.

A visiting American government official was ordered to leave Bahrain immediately [2] after he met with a few prominent Shi'ite opposition leaders earlier this week.

-7yyIH9L [3]

Malinowski's Twitter profile image.

According to Bahrain's state news agency BNA, Tom Malinowski, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour had “intervened flagrantly” in the country's internal affairs.

The small oil-rich island kingdom is a strategic US ally and has long provided a military base for America's navy in the Middle East. 

Bahrain, ruled by the Sunni al-Khalifa family, has been facing criticism for its human rights record, ever since [4] the military cracked down on Shi'ite Muslim-led protests against the government in 2011. Low-level protests have continued to simmer, [5] with the country's majority Shi'ite Muslims complaining of political and economic marginalization [6] and demanding more power from the Sunni-led government. 

The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke arrives for a port visit in Manama, Bahrain. From the Official US Navy Flickr page. CC-ND - 2.0 mAY 13, 2014 [7]

The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke arrives for a port visit in Manama, Bahrain. From the Official US Navy Flickr page. Photo taken May 13, 2014. CC BY 2.0

Malinowski himself explained in a tweet that has so far been retweeted 255 times and counting:

Human rights activist Ahmed Ali, who lives in Cardiff, in the UK, says:

This pro-government newspaper was owned by the Bahraini King's media advisor Nabeel Alhamer, who previously tweeted [ar]:

Bahrain considers the US Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor as an unwelcome person and he should leave Bahrain for interfering in its internal affairs

The move was met with an international outcry. In a series of tweets, Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth, notes:

And he adds:

Leading human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, just released from jail after serving three years for a tweet, said this to his 231K followers [ar]:

My friend Malinowski is a respectable person and what happened to him in Bahrain is an indication of his honesty. Getting expelled today will increase the respect people and the human rights movement have for him

And US-based George Washington University Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication fellow and commentator for the BBC and Daily Beast Philip Crowley clarifies:

On the other hand, pro-government netizens voiced their support for the move. Member of Parliament Khalid Almalood told his 2,700 followers on Twitter [ar]:

The US Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor who was kicked out [of Bahrain] was the director of Human Rights Watch, which Nabeel Rajab was part of, and which wrote bad reports about Bahrain

The Riffa Youth Group tweeted to its 25.5K followers:

We thank our Foreign Affairs Ministry for its courageous decision to throw out the US Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and are awaiting more courage for it to kick out the US Ambassador from Bahrain

And this is not the end of it. Leading opposition group Al Wefaq member Ali Alaswad, who has 64.1k followers, tweets:

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URL to article: https://globalvoices.org/2014/07/09/bahrain-kicks-out-visiting-american-human-rights-official/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.demotix.com/photo/1178069/bahrains-opposition-holds-democracy-everybody-protest-manama&popup=1

[2] ordered to leave Bahrain immediately: http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-80737931/

[3] Image: https://twitter.com/Malinowski

[4] criticism for its human rights record, ever since: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14540571

[5] protests have continued to simmer,: https://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/10/25/bahrain-more-tear-gas-than-people/

[6] political and economic marginalization: https://globalvoicesonline.org/specialcoverage/2012-special-coverage/bahrain-protests-2011/

[7] Image: https://flic.kr/p/nDxvPo

[8] #Bahrain: https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bahrain?src=hash

[9] July 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/Malinowski/statuses/486495418583629825

[10] pic.twitter.com/mbOUmf1PF8: http://t.co/mbOUmf1PF8

[11] July 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/ahmedali_/statuses/486594327066730496

[12] July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/nalhamer/statuses/486173373869719553

[13] http://t.co/qKWxBm9fxy: http://t.co/qKWxBm9fxy

[14] July 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/statuses/486530668919128064

[15] http://t.co/qTKJlR2KzD: http://t.co/qTKJlR2KzD

[16] July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/statuses/486198971237691392

[17] @NabeelRajab: https://twitter.com/NABEELRAJAB

[18] http://t.co/O4HV62RX3s: http://t.co/O4HV62RX3s

[19] July 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/statuses/486513866197962752

[20] #البحرين: https://twitter.com/hashtag/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%86?src=hash

[21] July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/NABEELRAJAB/statuses/486193481589616640

[22] July 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/PJCrowley/statuses/486448489346244609

[23] July 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/kh_almalood/statuses/486430231167643649

[24] July 7, 2014: https://twitter.com/shababalrifaa/statuses/486228674648109056

[25] @StateDept: https://twitter.com/StateDept

[26] @ALWEFAQ: https://twitter.com/ALWEFAQ

[27] @KhalilAlmarzooq: https://twitter.com/KhalilAlmarzooq

[28] @WefaqGS: https://twitter.com/WefaqGS

[29] July 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/am_aswad/statuses/486544142672343040

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