Hundreds of British Protest against King Hamad's Attendance at Royal Windsor Horse Show
2018-05-14 - 8:41 p
Bahrain Mirror: Hundreds of supporters of Campaign against Arms Trade (CAAT) protested, at the entrance of the stadium where Royal Windsor Horse Show was held, against the presence of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, yesterday (Saturday, May 12, 2018).
Several of British participants came in response to a call raised by the organization and an appeal launched by Bahraini activists whose families were blackmailed and imprisoned to prevent them from participating in a similar protest they used to hold in the past years. Dozens of people used trains from Paddington station to reach Windsor.
CAAT said that the protestors sent a message of solidarity with those struggling for human rights and democracy in Bahrain. Protestors held banners that read "Stop Arming and Repression in Bahrain", "The UK Should not Welcome the Tyrant King of Bahrain" and "Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Should be Tried for Torture, Not Welcomed as a Guest".
A published footage showed British policemen dragging off a protestor for attempting to jump the stadium fence to unfurl a banner against King Hamad's presence.
The organization further stated that "We're here today to stand against the Bahrain Royal Whitewash" and stressed that "We won't allow Bahrain's human rights abuses be hidden by this" and indicated that despite its appalling human rights record, Bahrain is a "priority market" for UK arms sales.
It is to mention that one of yesterday's races was held under the auspices of the Bahraini king. The king himself attended the race too, where photos were taken to him along with the Queen of Britain.
Activist Sam Walton said that the Queen ignored the horrific human rights abuses in Bahrain by greeting and legitimizing the Bahraini King. "As if that wasn't bad enough she also greeted King Hamad's favorite prince, Nasser. Several people tortured in Bahrain say Nasser was directly involved in their torture. He tortured them with his own hands," he tweeted saying.
The Queen ignoring the horrific human rights abuses in #Bahrain by greeting and legitimising it's despotic King Hamad at the Royal @WindsorHorse Show.— Sam Walton (@SamWalton) May 12, 2018
Britain must #StopArmingRepression. This is a #BahrainRoyalWhitewash. #RWHS pic.twitter.com/r8LsuFwvXK
The British welcoming of the Bahraini king this year was met with vast condemnation, even from British MPs who signed a petition demanding their government to retract its invitation to the King to attend the ceremony due to Bahrain's black human rights record and due to what happened to the families of activists who protested against his [the king] attendance last year, in particular, the family of the London-based activist Sayed Ahmad Al-Wadaei. The MPs were appalled by the invitation to Prince Nasser to attend this year's Royal Windsor Horse Show, despite the cases levelled against him in the British courts over being involved in torturing, following a decision that lifted his impunity.
A photo for a British activist, who marched with Martin Luther King in his historic march, was published showing him taking part in the protest yesterday.
Hank marched with Martin Luther King and is now here at #RWHS in solidarity with Bahraini democracy activists in exile. We won't allow #Bahrain's human rights abuses be hidden by a #BahrainRoyalWhitewash. UK must #StopArmingRepression pic.twitter.com/uA5ns3zH5C— CAAT (@CAATuk) May 12, 2018
"King Hamad has one of the most awful human rights records in the world and it is a disgrace that Royal Windsor Horse Show and the Queen are legitimizing his despotic regime," CAAT tweeted.
Besides, trucks saying "King Hamad is not welcome here" were seen in streets.
Activist Sayed Ahamd Al-Wadaei talked in the protest about his family members who are imprisoned in Bahrain as a punishment for him for speaking out for human rights. He also talked about other victims of torture in Bahrain and praised those who participated in the protest, stressing on how much their solidarity means for Bahrain.
The organization thanked the more than 3000 people who signed the petition telling the Queen not to be complicit in the Bahrain royal whitewash.