“No leniency .” That was the warning from Bahrain’s crown prince last week as government forces continued cracking down on protesters, activists, journalists and doctors. It was issued alongside yet another promise of reform by the Bahraini government.
The warning was also met with silence from the United States. The U.S., which has long considered Bahrain a key ally  in the region, condemned  the violence in mid-March, and two weeks later noted that arresting bloggers “doesn’t help ” promote an inclusive national dialogue.
But so far this month—as reports of increasing intimidation, censorship and brutality emerge—the U.S. doesn’t seem  to have had a public response. In one of the State Department’s last statements, spokesman Mark Toner told reporters  on March 22, “Our position towards Bahrain is crystal clear. We’re going to continue to work with the Bahraini Government.”
We called the State Department to ask why the violence in Bahrain hadn’t been broached in recent press briefings. “We respond to reporters’ questions,” a State Department spokesman told me, noting that “there’s a lot going on throughout the entire Middle East.”
Human rights groups have reported that at least 26 people  have been killed since the Bahraini government declared martial law  in mid-March. At least three activists have also died  in police custody. More than 400 have been detained and dozens are missing.