Human rights abuses continue to get uglier in Bahrain as its government has banned all protests and rallies in the name of security. In a statement by Interior Minister Sheik Rashid ibn Abdullah Khalifa, Bahrain’s government has also pledged that any one who calls for protests, or participating within them will face legal actions. Human rights advocates counter that the government is continuing to imprison, torture and murder those who believe the majority of the people in Bahrain should have a shot at political and economic opportunities--which is the truth in nearby Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

For Bahrainis exhausted from a government and corrupt royal family, their hope certainly will not lie in the United States. Bahrain is a close Middle East ally and the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet is based on the small island nation. With Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner saying that all the U.S. can do to protect the protesters is that “our best role is to be a quiet supportive voice on the outside,” the best Bahrainis can expect from America is, well, nothing.

Meanwhile other nations in the region are preoccupied with Syria and have their own precarious political scenes--offering a loud voice to the persecuted Bahrainis is not in their interest.

Businesses should step in and exert the most effective pressure a stubborn, oppressive and murderous government should face--stop doing business with Bahrain. Conducting business with Bahrain means heaping more money on the Al Khalifa royal family, and will hardly affect most Bahrainis because they do not receive the economic benefits.

A peaceful people deserve better. If governments are going to respond meekly and with a quiet voice, then businesses can speak loudly by cutting ties with Bahrain. It is time for multinationals to take a stand and stop dealing with Bahrain’s government, which really is just a tightly knit group of thugs, stops harassing and abusing its most precious resource: its people.

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Photo of Manama courtesy Leon Kaye

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.