Bahrain admitted today that there was excessive force used by the regime to quell protests that began in February and March and continue until today.
However, this report only documented abuses during the first two months of protests. This past week, a protester was killed by regime forces and then those attempting to attend his funeral were attacked. If events continue in this way, it is possible with this report the protests will gain speed.
Bahrain has a unique opportunity to take advantage of this report, apologize, and make up for the human rights abuses they admit they have committed over this year. If the government can take concrete steps with the advent of this report to address protesters concerns and open a dialogue with them, they may have a chance at ending the protests.
It will be interesting to see a United States response to this report. As we know, a United States arms deal hinges on this report and the steps taken to address it. Given the trouble now in Egypt and Syria, it is my bet that the United States won’t move quickly to arm another regime in the Middle East.