Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Supporting Dictatorships

UK supported Bahrain has taken steps to ban the main opposition party,  the secular National Democratic Action Society, or Wa’ad, and transfer many civilian judicial cases to a military court, in a new crackdown on dissent and human rights.

Theresa May visited Bahrain only three months ago as part of a drive to deepen UK military and trading links. 

The Gulf state, led by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, has been repeatedly accused of curtailing freedoms of expression, association and assembly. Rights groups allege that torture and other abuses are common, especially in the country’s notorious prisons.

A motion to criticise Bahrain’s behaviour tabled by Switzerland at the UN human rights council in Geneva on Monday was expected to be beaten back in part due to UK fears it was not balanced. The Foreign Office said: “The UK considers the proposed Swiss statement does not recognise some of the genuine progress Bahrain has made. Instead, we will be issuing a UK national statement that includes Bahrain.”
The exiled  Bahraini activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei said “Red lines are now being crossed in Bahrain, yet the British government refuses to endorse a balanced motion at the human rights council criticising Bahrain.” 
His mother-in-law and brother-in-law were taken into custody by the Bahrain authorities on Sunday.

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