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Political Prisoner on Hunger Strike Urges Britain to Stop Training Bahraini Security Forces

2019-09-16 - 10:22 p

Bahrain Mirror: A Bahraini political prisoner on hunger strike sent a letter to the British Foreign Office urging them to stop training that is contributing to human rights violations in the Gulf state, reported the Morning Star newspaper.

Ali Al-Hajee wrote to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and British Ambassador to Bahrain Roderick Drummond last week to expose the inhuman conditions faced by prisoners in Bahrain.

Al-Hajee introduced himself as one among thousands of political prisoners suffering physical and psychological abuse, as well as the effects of medical negligence and a policy of collective punishment implemented by the prison administration.

"The Bahraini authorities are using the training to maintain a facade of legitimacy and accountability before the international community," Hajee wrote, adding that "the UK government's unconditional political support and training only embolden the Bahraini authorities to continue abusing its citizens without fear of repercussion."

"The UK cannot become complicit in these abuses or accept to be used as a political tool by dictators," he said, warning Mr Raab and Mr Drummond that the government had a "moral responsibility" to intervene when the "ineffective institutions trained with British funding are directly responsible for whitewashing crimes."

Ali Al-Hajee was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment in 2013 after he allegedly was tortured into confession and subjected to an unfair trial.

He is currently suffering from severe medical conditions and has been prevented from seeing his family since February 2017.

The Foreign Office did not respond to the Star's request for comment at the time of publication.

In answer to a written question on the issue last month, Lord Ahmed said: "Any training provided by or on behalf of the British government complies with our domestic and international human rights obligations."

Hundreds of political prisoners in the Jaw Prison have been on hunger strike since August 15.


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