In defense of Bahrain’s government

Faisal Husain (“Terror in the dark,” January 19) presented a grossly distorted account of what has been happening in Bahrain. Nowhere does he mention that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the government of Bahrain responded to the tragic events of last year by calling for a national dialogue on constitutional reform and establishing an independent commission of inquiry led by human rights expert Dr. Cherif Bassiouni of the DePaul University College of Law.

When the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry produced its report in November, the King accepted its findings in full and created a task force to implement its findings. Judicial oversight is being strengthened; cases are being re-tried in civilian courts; the Ministry of the Interior has signed an agreement facilitating Red Cross inspection of detention facilities; students have had their scholarships restored; public sector workers suspended on full pay are being reinstated; and Bahrain’s laws are being reformed to protect the rights to freedom of speech and expression. Bahrain is taking all the steps necessary for it to meet its treaty obligations to uphold human rights.

Truth and reconciliation are required for wounds to heal and mutual misunderstanding to no longer be obstacles to progress. The government took the lead by apologizing for its mistakes and accepting the findings of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. For their part, leading elements of the opposition and NGOs such as Physicians for Human Rights have not.

Saqer al-Khalifa

Jan. 23

The writer is the media attaché of the embassy of Bahrain in Washington D.C.

Smashed GOP smashes Dems

I read with great disappointment the News’ coverage of “Partisan Pong,” a beer pong game jointly hosted by the Yale College Republicans and the Yale College Democrats. The News reported, “In a step away from their usual ‘Progressive Pong,’ the Yale College Democrats faced off with various campus conservatives Friday in a game of ‘Partisan Pong,’ bringing the parties together.”

In addition to its factual inaccuracies, this reporting demonstrates liberal media bias at its worst. To set the record straight, the Yale College Democrats did not “face off with various campus conservatives” at last Friday’s “Partisan Pong” — they suffered a shocking, decisive, and humiliating defeat at the hands of the event’s co-hosts, the Yale College Republicans.

One-party rule has ended at Yale. Those “various campus conservatives” have built a strong, energetic organization. The News would do well to remember its name.

Michael Knowles

Jan. 23

The writer is a senior in Davenport College and Chairman of the Yale College Republicans.