One year after the Pearl Uprising in Bahrain, unrest continues amid the ongoing government crackdown against protests. A report commissioned by the Bahraini government found in November that there has been systemic and widespread use of violence in the crackdowns as well as torture of political prisoners. Despite pledges to reform, the government of Bahrain has made little progress, and continues to deny access to the country to the international media and human rights organizations, including Freedom House. Meanwhile, the United States has remained largely silent as its close military partner engages in brutal repression.
Please join Freedom House as we host three Bahraini human rights activists to discuss the situation on the ground, prospects for political reform, and U.S. foreign policy in Bahrain.
Maryam Al-Khawaja, Bahrain Center for Human Rights,
Husain Abdullah, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain
Jalil Al-Rahdi, Bahraini activist
Dr. Robert Herman, Vice President for Regional Programs at Freedom House,
Maryam Al-Khawaja is the head of the Foreign Relations section of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, based in London. She is a member of a well-known family of activists in Bahrain; her father, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja is in prison because of his human rights activities and her sister Zainab was arrested in 2011 during a protest. Maryam left Bahrain in March, 2011 and has not returned for fear of arrest by the authorities.
Husain Abdulla is a naturalized US citizen, originally from Bahrain, and the director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, a U.S.-based advocacy organization. He received his Bachelor’s in Political Science and Mathematics from the University of South Alabama and his Master’s in Political Science and International Relations from the University of West Florida.
Jalil Al Radhi is a Bahraini national. He lost his brother and brother-in-law in the February 14th movement. Jalil worked with different NGO's in Bahrain, particularly in media relations, and now he is a resident in the United States.
Dr. Robert Herman is Vice President for Regional Programs at Freedom House. Previously, he was Senior Technical Director for Democracy and Governance at Management Systems International. He was the co-founder and co-director of the Democracy Coalition Project, a global democracy promotion initiative of the Open Society Institute and previously served on the State Department's Policy Planning staff working on democracy and human rights.