Press Release: Bahrain – A disappointing response from the Foreign Office

Press Release: Bahrain – A disappointing response from the Foreign Office

The Islamic Human Rights Commission is shocked at the response of the Foreign Office to IHRC’s request to revoke the Olympic invitation of Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa. 
The letter which can be found by following the link below, tip toes around the Bahraini human rights record, down plays the alleged torture and side steps the blatant display of double standards.
The FCO talks about ‘increased provocation from demonstrations against the security forces including the use of Molotov cocktails, darts and lead pipes’, but fails to mention the repression carried out by the security forces. 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office accuses protestors, by far the most peaceful demonstrations to take have taken place during the ‘Arab spring’, of somehow instigating the violent reaction that they received from the Bahraini regime’s security forces, and Saudi-led troops.
We also feel the need to point out to the FCO that Britain’s stance on Libya and Syria, where ‘protestors’ are armed and where Britain has lent (and continues to lend) moral and material support to militias in both countries.
The hypocrisy of Britain’s stance on Bahrain is clear for all to see and is insulting for those that are risking their lives.
IHRC feels that the FCO line in the letter that states ‘Bahrain is a key ally of the UK and this close relationship allows us to have frank discussions often necessary between friends’, sums up the silence of the UK on the issue of Bahrain.  It is clear that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office is prioritising its relationship with the al-Khalifa regime over its concern for the wellbeing of the people of Bahrain.
Britain has yet again shown that it has a different set of standards on human rights when it comes to ‘friends’
IHRC is also deeply concerned about the ‘close relationship’ mentioned that exists between the Bahraini regime and British government. It is apparent to everyone that the British government is protecting one of its most important geopolitical allies in the Gulf region at the expense of human rights. The UK government’s commitment to maintaining this relationship is obstructing them from applying necessary pressure on the Bahraini regime to meet the terms of the BICI report, and speaks volumes about their impotence to promote real change. Expecting and hoping for the regime to change is simply not enough, especially when it has demonstrated that it is committed to escalating its acts of repression.
Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh said, “We urge the British government to have a stronger relationship with the people of Bahrain not the tyrants of the region and to uphold justice and human rights in Bahrain”


You can read both exchanges of letters below –

Foreign Office Response – 
Reply from IHRC –

IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone: (+44) 20 8904 4222
Twitter: @ihrc

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