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Bahrain Expels US Assistant Secretary Malinowski, Persona Non Grata

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The Government of Bahrain says US Assistant Secretary Malinowski is Persona Non Grata and is to expel him from Bahrain.

State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki in Washington, DC, yesterday said the United States is "deeply concerned by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain's decision to demand the immediate departure of Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, from the country."

According to the spokesperson, Malinowski's visit to Bahrain was coordinated far in advance, and they said, warmly welcomed and encouraged by the government of Bahrain.

Bahrain's government is aware that U.S. government officials routinely meet with "all officially-recognized political societies," according to the State Department.

Psaki said the expulsion is in violation of international diplomatic protocol.

Bahrain must have had a good reason, because they insisted, without advance warning and after Malinowski's visit had already commenced, "to have a Foreign Ministry representative present at all of Assistant Secretary Malinowski's private meetings with individuals and groups representing a broad spectrum of Bahraini society, including those held at the U.S. embassy."

When asked for details about Assistant Secretary Malinowski's schedule in Bahrain, the State Department said the following:

  • Assistant Secretary Malinowski briefly attended the Wifaq Ramadan Majlis/Gathering on the evening of July 6, which was open to the public.
  • Throughout the remainder of his visit, he was also scheduled to attend the Ramadan Majlises/gatherings of a broad swath of Bahraini society, as is traditional in Bahrain.
  • On July 7, A/S Malinowski met with the Minister of Interior and Police Chief, with the National Institution for Human Rights, and with Wifaq's leaders at the U.S. Embassy.
  • He had meetings scheduled over the coming days with the Crown Prince/First Deputy Prime Minister and the Director General of his office, the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman, the Commission on Prisoner and Detainee Rights, and the Chief of the Public Prosecutor's Special Investigative Unit.
  • The Assistant Secretary also had meetings scheduled with human rights activists and defenders and civil society leaders, with the Coalition of National Societies (Al Fatih), and with the Coalition of Democratic Opposition Societies.
  • Ms Psaki said the expulsion is "Contrary to our longstanding bilateral relationship and in violation of international diplomatic protocol."

    Psaki also said the Bahraini government's actions are not consistent with the strong partnership between the United States and Bahrain.

    Alan Gray is the publisher of NewsBlaze, the independent online newspaper for thinking people. Read more stories by Alan Gray.

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