According to Human Rights Watch, human rights conditions in Bahrain worsened in 2007. Despite changes initiated since 2001 by a reformist ruler, the government has done little to institutionalize human rights in law, and continues to practice restrictive policies towards freedoms of expression, assembly and association. (HRW World Report 2008).
In June 2011, President Barack Obama nominated diplomat Thomas C. Krajeski to be the U.S. ambassador to Bahrain. Krajeski has spent much of his career serving in the Middle East and Persian Gulf regions, including two stints in Iraq. He received his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 21.