Text: S.2009 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (08/06/2015)

[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 2009 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

  1st Session
                                S. 2009

                To prohibit the sale of arms to Bahrain.



                             August 6, 2015

 Mr. Wyden (for himself and Mr. Rubio) introduced the following bill; 
which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


                                 A BILL

                To prohibit the sale of arms to Bahrain.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``The Bahrain Independent Commission 
of Inquiry (BICI) Accountability Act of 2015''.


    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The Kingdom of Bahrain is a party to several 
        international human rights instruments, including the 
        International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted 
        December 16, 1966, and entered into force March 23, 1976, and 
        the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or 
        Degrading Treatment or Punishment, done at New York, December 
        10, 1984.
            (2) The citizens of Bahrain significantly intensified their 
        calls for government reform and respect for human rights in 
        February 2011, with hundreds of thousands participating in 
        nonviolent demonstrations.
            (3) Article 1 of the Royal Order No. 28 of July 1, 2011, 
        established the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry 
        (BICI) and mandated the Commission ``to investigate and report 
        on the events occurring in Bahrain in February/March 2011, and 
        any subsequent consequences arising out of the aforementioned 
        events, and to make such recommendations as it may deem 
            (4) The BICI was composed of well-renowned international 
        human rights experts who were authorized to investigate human 
        rights violations and recommend measures for accountability.
            (5) The BICI received approximately 9,000 written 
        complaints from both Bahraini citizens and foreign residents 
        who claimed to be victims of human rights violations, and the 
        BICI conducted over 5,000 personal interviews with those 
            (6) The 503-page BICI report ``investigating and reporting 
        on the events that took place in Bahrain from February 2011, 
        and the consequences of those events'' was submitted to the 
        Government of Bahrain on November 23, 2011.
            (7) The BICI report made 26 ``recommendations for 
        reconsideration of administrative and legal actions, and 
        recommendations concerning the institutionalization of 
        mechanisms designed to prevent the recurrence of similar 
        events, and how to address them''.
            (8) The King of Bahrain received the BICI report on 
        November 23, 2011, and pledged to ``conceive and implement 
        reforms that satisfy all segments of our population'' to 
        achieve national reconciliation.
            (9) The Department of State stated on May 11, 2012, ``While 
        the Government of Bahrain has begun to take some important 
        steps to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain 
        Independent Commission of Inquiry report, the country is 
        becoming increasingly polarized and much work remains to be 
            (10) On August 14, 2013, the Department of State submitted 
        a report to Congress entitled ``Implementation of 
        Recommendations by the Bahrain Independent Commission of 
        Inquiry'', which determined only 5 of the 26 recommendations of 
        the BICI report to be ``fully Implemented'' by the Government 
        of Bahrain.
            (11) The BICI report determined that the Bahrain Defence 
        Force ``was one of the main organs involved in the 
        implementation of Royal Decree No. 18 of 2011 pursuant to which 
        the State of National Safety was declared in Bahrain''.
            (12) The BICI report found the Bahrain Defence Force units 
        ``holding law enforcement powers executed arrest warrants 
        against some individuals, including doctors employed by the 
        Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) and former parliamentarians''.
            (13) Human Rights First has found that no officials from 
        the Bahrain Defence Force have been held accountable for 
        excessive use of violence against peaceful protesters since 
            (14) Amnesty International determined that opposition 
        leader Ali Salman is a prisoner of conscience who was sentenced 
        to four years in prison, after an unfair trial, on June 15, 
            (15) According to the Project on Middle East Democracy, the 
        Government of Bahrain summoned Bahraini opposition leader 
        Khalil al-Marzooq over an investigation into insulting a 
        government ministry and inciting hatred on June 30, 2015, and 
        July 1, 2015.
            (16) According to the Americans for Democracy and Human 
        Rights in Bahrain, the Government of Bahrain re-arrested the 
        recently released Bahraini opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif in 
        connection with a speech in which he peacefully criticized the 
        government and called for political reform on July 12, 2015.
            (17) The Department of State's 2014 Human Rights Report on 
        Bahrain released on June 25, 2014, found, ``The most serious 
        human rights problems included . . . arrest and detention of 
        protesters (some of whom were violent) on vague charges, 
        occasionally leading to their torture and mistreatment in 
        detention; and lack of due process in trials of political and 
        human rights activists, students, and journalists, including 
        harsh sentences.''.
            (18) The Department of State announced on June 29, 2015, 
        the decision to lift the holds on security assistance to the 
        Bahrain Defence Force and National Guard that were implemented 
        following Bahrain's crackdown on demonstrations in 2011.


    (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the 
United States Government may not sell or transfer to the Government of 
Bahrain any of the items set forth in subsection (b) until the 
Secretary of State certifies that the Government of Bahrain has fully 
implemented all 26 recommendations set forth in the 2011 Bahrain 
Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report.
    (b) Prohibited Items.--The items referred to in subsection (a) are 
as follows:
            (1) Tear gas.
            (2) Small arms.
            (3) Light weapons.
            (4) Ammunition for small arms and light weapons.
            (5) Humvees.
            (6) Other items that could reasonably be used for crowd 
        control purposes.

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