Four years ago this month, the Bahraini people stood up for democracy and human rights at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama. Shi'a people, among other under-represented groups and human rights activists, drew attention to social and political exclusion at the hands of a Sunni-dominated government. The heavy-handed police response to these protests in clashes four years ago-- and since then-- have led to the deaths of approximately 100 Bahrainis and several police officers. Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested and even tortured in 2011, as documented in the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report. The struggle continues, as activists who tweet or otherwise call out the government are imprisoned for anti-government speech in an on-going human rights disaster in the small Persian Gulf Country, a major U.S. ally. Last week, Dr. Staci Strobl (co-founder of Crimcast) presented an outline for the U.S. to pressure Bahrain to engage in meaningful security reform at a Congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with a blueprint for reform released by Human Rights First (HRF), a call for interagency review of the U.S. relationship with Bahrain by Rep. Jim McGovern (D.-Mass.), and an update on the crisis in Bahrain by human rights lawyer Muhammad Al-Tajer. In addition, Brian Dooley of HRF and Staci Strobl co-authored an op-ed for the Huffington Post and discussed the possibilities for police reform in a short, 7-minute podcast. Check out these important policy discussions by policing and human rights experts. Plus, view Crimcast's past posts on Bahrain: colonial history and criminal justice, the criminalization of anti-government speech, and a conversation with Toby Matthiesen, author of Sectarian Gulf.
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