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UK Rights Group Urges Queen Elizabeth to Tackle Bahrain King on Repression

2017-05-13 - 4:49 am

Bahrain Mirror: British rights activists have called on the queen to protest against rising repression, torture and executions in Bahrain when she meets the Gulf state's king in the UK on Friday, according to Middle East Eye website.

Rights group Reprieve says the meeting comes amid a crackdown on political dissent in the kingdom. The Bahraini authorities recently resumed executions after a six-year moratorium, executing three political protestors who had been sentenced based on forced "confessions".

MEE noted that at least two more political prisoners are expected to be executed in the next few months.

Moreover, Maya Foa, the director of Reprieve, said that the British government should use the queen to protest against "Bahrain's use of torture and executions to silence opponents".

"Make no mistake, visits like this gift the Bahraini government a royal cloak of acceptability, while the Kingdom mercilessly executes political prisoners and uses torture to extract 'confessions'", she added.

"Theresa May wants stronger UK-Gulf relations, but we must not help the Bahrainis to whitewash their appalling abuses," said Foa.

The UK support includes the training of hundreds of guards on Bahrain's death row, where "torture of political prisoners is rife," according to human rights groups.

MEE further reported that researchers from Reprieve had also found that the British government has given substantial support to Bahrain's criminal justice system, despite human rights concerns.

Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa will host the British queen and 19 other guests inside a "Kingdom of Bahrain lounge" at the Windsor Horse show.

Last year's show sparked controversy when King Hamad's son, Prince Nasser, was in attendance despite fighting a high court case that accused him of perpetrating acts of torture during the pro-democracy uprisings in 2011.

The High Court ruled that the prince was not entitled to any form of diplomatic immunity for the allegations of torture.

Five human rights group, including the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy and Index on Censorship, called for the horse show to sever its ties with Bahrain until stronger ethical commitments were in place, and human rights commitments are adopted.

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