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Tue 6 Aug 2013 03:16 PM

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UK's PM urged to tackle Bahrain's king on human rights

Amnesty International appeals to David Cameron ahead of Downing Street meeting

UK's PM urged to tackle Bahrain's king on human rights
British Prime Minister David Cameron. (Getty Images)

Amnesty International on Tuesday called on UK Prime Minister David Cameron to tackle Bahrain's King Hamad over human rights abuses during talks at Downing Street.

Cameron, who is set to meet King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa at Downing Street, should raise concerns, according to Allan Hogarth, head of policy and government affairs at Amnesty International UK.

“There’s a façade of supposed reform in Bahrain, but the reality is that critics and dissenting voices are just locked up and silenced.

“We want Mr Cameron to make it crystal clear that the UK is not prepared to hold its tongue over the appalling way critics and protestors are treated," Hogarth said in a statement.

Amnesty said that in recent months the Bahrain government has cracked down on people disseminating information about the human rights situation in Bahrain through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. 

On July 28, Bahrain’s Parliament submitted 22 recommendations to the King toughening punishments laid out in the 2006 anti-terrorism law.

The King has welcomed the recommendations and has already issued two decrees to this effect. One of the recommendations is to make sending false information on Bahrain through social media networks a crime punishable by imprisonment.

Hogarth added: “In particular, the Prime Minister should raise the cases of blogger Mohammad Hassan Sayef, and cameraman Hussain Habib, who were arrested last week, most likely for their social media activity.

“The King of Bahrian is very keen to present a glossy image of a country which has dealt with past unrest - but we know is only achieved by silencing anyone who gets in his way.”

Amnesty said more than two years after the uprising in Bahrain, some arrested during the protests remain behind bars and the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly continue to be suppressed.

Calvin 6 years ago

What a load of rubbish!!

Fatima 6 years ago

And what of the human rights of Bahrainis under constant threat from the protestors and terrorists themselves? There have been two car bombs near mosques and recreational areas in the last month. Additionally, every weekend molotov cocktails are thrown, roads are blocked with burning tires and migrant workers have been targeted, beated and tortured by rioting mobs. Are we to bow down to terror? No country, including Britain, would stand for it.