Reports: Fawwaz Al Khalifa to be Appointed Bahrainís Ambassador to Britain
2015-06-16 - 9:17 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Various reports revealed that Bahrain is appointing Fawwaz Al Khalifa Bahrain's ambassador to the United Kingdom, after dismissing Alice Samaan from her post yesterday on Thursday (June 11, 2015)
Some reports confirmed that Fawwaz had visited London a few months ago to settle his affairs and that the Bahraini ministry of foreign affairs is currently arranging his papers to appoint him ambassador to UK.
When Fawwaz is announced as the country's ambassador, Bahrain will have replaced its ambassadors to the countries of its two most important allies, the US and the UK, with two members of the ruling family.
The retired soldier, Mohammed bin Abdulaah bin Rashid Al Khalifa, was appointed Bahrain's ambassador to Washington in late 2013, after dismissing the former ambassador Hoda Nono. Assigning him to this post triggered a wave of criticism by human rights defenders and research centers.
Some observers said to Bahrain Mirror that replacing Nono and Semaan with two ambassadors from the Al Khalifa family means that the ruling family is rearranging the embassies by appointing its family members and that the regime was using the idea of appointing female Christian or Jewish ambassadors in powerful countries, temporarily, as Bahrain was facing difficult times. They also saw that the Al Khalifa family is taking back the most two important embassies in the world in what seems like a new strategy towards international relations.
Fawwaz Al Khalifa was assigned head of Information Affairs Authority in 2010. He; however, was dismissed after the February 14 events, after facing wide criticizing for his role in managing the regime's media, which was described as weak, in addition to the accusations the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) raised against local media outlets run by Fawwaz. The BICI stated that many local news outlets contained "derogatory language and inciting coverage of events, and some might have had a defamatory approach."
Moreover, the authorities assigned Sameera bin Rajab to be Minister of State for Information Affairs in 2012. Meanwhile, they made a new post for Fawwaz, Minister of Communication, as his main work was to monitor media outlets, social media and political activism online in general and block opposition websites. He remained in his post until he wasn't part of the cabinet that was recently announced in late 2014.
Fawwaz headed the General Organization for Youth and Sports in 2000. However, after the bloody crackdown during the State of National Safety (Martial law) in 2011, activists accused him of supervising, in person, the campaign that targeted athletes, media figures and journalists in Bahrain and that he took revenge on the sports journalist, Faisal Hayat, who was imprisoned and tortured at that time. They further stated that Fawwaz, himself, came to the prison to watch Hayat being tortured. Fawwaz's name was mentioned and repeated by all the torturers who were seeking revenge for him.
Under the patronage and supervision of Sheikh Fawwaz Al Khalifa, Bahrain television launched a wide campaign series of "trials" against a group of politicians, media figures and athletes who took part in the February 14 protests. Usually this used to lead next day to the arrest of the accused "guest", who was showered with insults and defaming comments during the episode live on the air.
One of Fawwaz's most famous stances in 2011 was filing a lawsuit in the name of Information Affairs Authority, he used to head, against Britain's "The Independent" newspaper and the prominent British journalist Robert Fisk after the latter slammed the Bahraini regime in an article.
Fawwaz faced a huge campaign mockery after he was interviewed by the Lebanese LBC channel, when he pretended he couldn't hear in order to escape answering the presenter's embarrassing questions.
Fawwaz is the son of the former Minister of Interior, Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, who is known for leading the crackdown on the 1990s uprising. He graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK.
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