U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement today marking the second anniversary of the watershed pro-democracy demonstrations in Bahrain:
"I join thousands of Bahraini citizens today in commemorating the second anniversary of the watershed demonstrations that peacefully took place there. On that day, thousands of Bahrainis took to the streets to demand a more transparent and representative government in their homeland. Two years later, I am concerned about the Bahraini government's failure to hold security forces and officials accountable for abuses committed against peaceful demonstrators.
"Stability is one of several U.S. national interests in Bahrain and the Arab Gulf, but lasting political stability can only come through a government that represents the aspirations of the people and is responsive to their needs and concerns. I am optimistic about King Hamad's renewed call for a political dialogue in Bahrain, and I urge opposition leaders to unambiguously reject the use of violence and to engage the government towards reaching a serious political agreement. I hope the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations holds hearings as soon as possible to consider the consequences of political instability in Bahrain and the Administration's strategy to help bring about meaningful and inclusive political reforms in that country."