A prominent Bahraini human rights defender has deplored Britain’s indifference towards flagrant human rights violations at the hands of the Bahraini regime and its agents.
Maryam al-Khawaja, acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, called on the UK parliamentarians to use their influence and exert pressure on Bahrain to commit to reforms and free political prisoners.
Elaborating on the actual situation on the ground in Bahrain and its regime’s brutal crackdown on popular protests, she said that Bahraini authorities usually deny the facts and misuse the international community’s inaction to their own benefit.
Maryam al-Khawaja, in particular, denounced the UK government as one of Bahraini regime’s greatest allies, saying that Britain has failed to push on Bahrain to implement supposed reforms.
She said the UK lawmakers need to question their government’s relationship with Bahraini regime, because it is now seen as complicit in the regime’s human rights’ abuses through its silence and indifference.
As an example, al-Khawaja said, the UK government gave VIP host to one of Bahrain’s known torturers, Nasser Bin Hamad al-Khalifa, at the London Olympics. The status quo must stop, she said.
Maryam al-Khawaja referred to Britain’s growing arms sales to Bahraini regime, noting that “the United Kingdom is ostensibly giving permission to the Bahraini regime to violently silence its people”.
“It is shameful that the UK and the US refused to sign onto a joint-statement issued by 27 countries this year, condemning human rights violations. Despite damning evidence that continues to mount both countries have been shamefully silent on this topic - and this must change”, said the Bahraini human rights advocate.