Bahrain dismisses US diplomat’s claim
Manama, 18 days ago
Bahrain has denied reports that a senior US diplomat, who was expelled from the country for meddling in domestic affairs, will be allowed to return.
Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Abdulla Abdullatif Abdulla said a statement made by US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki that the diplomat had been invited to return by Bahrain's government was 'full of inaccuracies,’ said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tomasz Malinowski was declared persona non grata by the ministry on July 7 and asked to leave the country.
He was accused of flagrantly intervening in Bahrain's internal affairs, discrimination, contravening diplomatic norms and flouting normal inter-state relations.
He was also accused of holding secret talks with opposition leaders at the US Embassy.
“What is happening now is that Bahrain is in touch with the US to overcome the effects of the recent visit of Mr Malinowski to ensure the historic friendship between the two countries in all fields,” said Abdulla in a statement yesterday.
“The statement of the spokeswoman for the State Department is full of inaccuracies towards Bahrain.
“Bahrain does not prevent freedom of expression in any form, if within the limits of the law, and aims to maintain security, stability and the welfare of its people, which is clear to the US in the context of the incidents of sabotage in the recent period.
“Bahrain does not need 'observers from the outside' as stated by the spokeswoman for the State Department to assess steps and policies.”
He urged Psaki to be careful while making remarks about Bahrain and avoid spreading random accusations.
The GDN reported in July that following the secret meeting Al Wefaq secretary-general Shaikh Ali Salman and his assistant for political affairs Khalil Al Marzooq were charged with violating a law that bans groups from meeting foreign representatives without Bahraini authorities present.
However, their lawyers argued at the time that US officials turned away a Bahraini government representative who was supposed to attend.
Bahraini law states the government must be notified of any Bahraini political society's meeting with a foreign embassy, government body or any overseas political entity three days in advance.
The meeting should also take place in the presence of a government representative.
Pictures of Malinowski attending a Ramadan event at Al Wefaq's headquarters in Bilad Al Qadeem were also widely circulated.
Before assuming his current post in April, Malinowski was Human Rights Watch (HRW) Washington director for 13 years and has been a vocal critic of Bahrain since 2011.
In an HRW report dated May 7, 2012 Malinowski said he was among those rounded up as he watched demonstrators in Duraz protesting against the 2012 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. - TradeArabia News Service