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Bahrain’s Justice Ministry filed a lawsuit against main opposition party al-Wefaq, seeking to suspend its activities for three months. The charges filed in the suit include “failing to comply with rules of transparency when holding general meetings,” most likely in response to the visit of recently-expelled U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski. The Justice Ministry claimed the party had violated law in “holding two general assemblies without following the quorum rules, and calling for two others in a total lack of transparency.” Al-Wefaq would be able to continue activities after it “rectifies its illegal status.”
Spokesman for al-Wefaq, Abdul-Jalil Khalil commented on the lawsuit, saying it “is a political decision and it will lead to closing all doors in Bahrain for a serious and meaningful dialogue or a national reconciliation.” The lawsuit will likely “inflame tensions” among Bahrain’s majority Shiite population as “Repeated rounds of talks between the government and members of the opposition have failed to significantly defuse the tensions.” A statement was released soon after the lawsuit’s announcement from five opposition groups including al-Wefaq, accusing the government of not being “serious about an inclusive political solution.”
Additionally, a statement released by the …
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The Jordanian government neutralized its stance towards Syria, after Information Minister Mohammad al-Momani announced that Jordan “was not interested in training Syrian opposition forces on its territory” adding that its “public policy has always been not to interfere in Syrian affairs.” The development comes soon after Barack Obama announced his $500 million plan to train Syrian rebels.
Political Analyst Fahd al-Kheitan told Al Monitor that Jordan no longer shares the same promise of the U.S. that the opposition provides a viable option to Assad’s regime, noting that Jordan now focuses on “dealing with the humanitarian effect of the crisis in addition to managing potential regional threats that could reflect on its national security” as “political and military efforts have failed to resolve” the civil war. Additionally, Jordan’s Political Affairs Minister spoke to Al Monitor, voicing his concerns about “the ability of the Obama administration to provide lethal weapons to the opposition.” His concerns included the likelihood that Congress would approve such measures, and that “Jordan prefers to stand down and stay out of such plans, which will force it to challenge the Damascus regime directly.”
Anonymous U.S. officials claimed Jordan is afraid of Syrian …
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Eighteen Members of Congress have signed a bipartisan letter to King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain to express “concern and disappointment” with his government’s recent decision to expel Tom Malinowski, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from Bahrain.
He was expelled in the first use of “a troubling decree… barring members of opposition parties from meeting with officials of foreign governments absent pre-approval from the government and without a representative of the Foreign Ministry present.” The letter requests that Malinowski be allowed to return in order to “resume his visit intended to strengthen bilateral ties and support your reform and reconciliation efforts.”
The members of congress called the decision “particularly disturbing” in the context of “the close diplomatic and military relationship that [the Bahraini and U.S.] governments have enjoyed for decades.” They warn potential repercussions of the decision include undermining “public confidence in the government’s diplomatic efforts,” damaging “Bahrain’s image in the international community,” and compromising ”any efforts toward reconciliation and the success of the National Dialogue.”
The letter was led by Representatives Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) and cosigned by Representatives Jim Moran (D-VA), Jim …
A study published by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran found that leading Iranian civil society figures “support the nuclear negotiations and hope for a successful deal,” arguing that “an end to the confrontation over the nuclear issue will allow the focus to return to the state of human rights at the global stage.” The publication begins by acknowledging that President Rouhani has focused his attention during his time in office on “rehabilitating Iran’s foreign relations and ending its international isolation” primarily through nuclear negotiations. However, it is the duty of the international community to link Iran’s goals of global reintegration to substantive improvements in its human rights record, in light of the fact that latter remains a top concern in the agendas of the “voices from Iran” this study gives a platform to.
Support from Iranian civil society for nuclear negotiations comes from all parts of the country, in particular those who are, or once were political prisoners. Although participants disagreed on the long-term effect of a nuclear resolution on human rights in Iran, those interviewed by the ICHR unanimously agreed that human rights need urgent improvement, and nuclear negotiations may open up the …
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On Wednesday, July 16, a press conference was held at the House Triangle to announce the formation of a “Friends of Egypt” caucus in Congress. Attending and making brief statements at the press conference were co-chairs Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).
For full notes continue reading or click here for the PDF.
Following a disruption from protesters, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) opened the press conference with brief remarks. She began by emphasizing Egypt’s role as a “strategic partner” and how it is a crucial time for the U.S. to better understand Egypt and its people. As the U.S. and Egypt have had a “history of engagement,” Sanchez believes it is vital to continue to support Egypt through its current transition.
Next, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) noted the importance of the caucus, stating, “We need it now more than ever.” Having met with President Sisi in the past, Bachmann highlighted the importance of continuing support to Sisi as he understands that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization that it must be countered, and has done his part in …