US Blasts Bahrain's Ban on Protests

Says move runs counter to country's promise to reform


The Obama administration has denounced in unusually harsh terms a ban on public demonstrations imposed by Bahrain, a key U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf that is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. 

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on October 31 that the United States was "deeply concerned" by the ban, which he said violated freedoms of assembly, association, and expression.

Toner said the move ran "contrary" to Bahrain's promises to reform and urged the authorities to respect commitments to uphold fundamental human rights.