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UK Parliament Motion Calls for Suspending Assistance Programs to Bahrain, Release All Political Prisoners

2018-09-16 - 12:59 am

Bahrain Mirror: British Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake is leading a movement in the UK Parliament calling for the adoption of a motion for ending degrading treatment against political prisoners in Bahrain, suspending technical assistance programs to Bahrain and release of all political prisoners, including opposition leaders.

Brake and 18 other MPs from different parties, excluding the ruling Conservative Party, have already made a similar motion three years ago, demanding the release of opposition figures, namely their leader Sheikh Ali Salman. They also called on the British government to intervene to secure the release of all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain, yet little progress has been made since then.

Since the eruption of the February 14 protests more than seven years ago, 28 motions have been submitted on Bahrain in the British Parliament, but this has not prevented the ongoing British political support to the Bahraini government in various areas and in all ways, including diplomatic coverage, direct security cooperation, arms sales, the opening of a new military base and so-called technical assistance programs to reform the security and judicial bodies.

The new motion, published on the UK Parliament website, state that "this House deplores the degrading treatment of political prisoners in Bahrain; is appalled by the inhuman conditions of detention facilities as described by the UN Human Rights Committee in July 2018, particularly in Jau prison, including unsanitary conditions, severe overcrowding, inadequate access to drinking water and unhygienic toilet facilities."

The motion also expressed concern about "the arbitrary and extrajudicial arrest of 13 Bahraini opposition leaders who were subjected to torture and unlawfully convicted by a military court in 2011."

The motion then particularly condemns the deliberate targeting of Hassan Mushaima, who is being denied unconditional access to medical care, family visits and books, and says is concerned that the violations of Mr Mushaima's rights have caused his son to launch a hunger strike outside the Bahraini Embassy in London.

It further notes with dismay that Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and Abdulwahab Husain are victims of similar punitive measures.

The motion also highlighted that the political prisoner Ali Hajji is also on a hunger strike to protest degrading treatment in Jau prison.

It expressed further concern that the UK has provided over £5 million in technical assistance programs to Bahrain to train human rights oversight bodies, "which appear to have systematically failed to investigate thoroughly human rights abuses and whitewashed torture in Bahraini prisons;" urging the Government to suspend the program until Bahrain abides by its international human rights obligations, including the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; and calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners, including the Bahrain 13.


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