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British MPs Condemn Rajab's Sentence and Call for Listing Bahrain as Country of Concern

2015-07-10 - 5:31 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Members of the British Parliament expressed severe concerns about the ongoing restrictions against free speech in Bahrain; noting the recent findings by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of "reprisals against individuals exercising their right to free speech in Bahrain, including the continued ban on protests and rallies and the systematic use of torture and other cruel and degrading treatment."

27 British MPs condemned "the harassment, intimidation, detention and sentencing of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab to six months' imprisonment for a tweet critical of the Ministries of Interior and Defence; We are concerned at the current trial of Mr. Rajab for tweets that may lead to 10 years' imprisonment" expressing their alarm "at the deterioration of the political climate in Bahrain and the crackdown on political dissent and fundamental freedoms in that country."

The MPs who signed an early day motion entitled "Free Speech in Bahrain" in the UK Parliament called on the government of Bahrain "to release all political prisoners and those imprisoned for their right to freedom of expression" and urged the Foreign and Commonwealth Office "to re-evaluate its assistance to Bahrain in light of these ongoing violations and to implement the recommendations of the Foreign Affairs Committee in its First Report of Session 2013-14, HC88, by listing Bahrain as a country of concern in its upcoming human rights report."

Until now, 27 British MPs have signed the early day motion, 11 of which from the Scottish National Party "Angus MacNeil, Mike Weir, Phil Boswell, Michelle Thomson, Stuart Donaldson, Patrick Grady, Christopher Stephens, Kirsten Oswald, Martyn Day, Patricia Gibson and Carol Monaghan", 8 others from the Labour Party "Virendra Sharma, Roger Godsiff, Grahame Morris, Alan Meale, Gerald Kaufman, Kelvin Hopkins, Ronnie Campbell and Helen Goodman", 2 others from the Social Democratic and Labour Party, "Mark Durkan and Margaret Ritchie", "David Simpson, Jim Shanon" from the Democratic Unionist Party, "Liz Saville Roberts and Jonathan Edwards" from Plaid Cymru and " Peter Bottomley" from the Conservative Party.

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