Bahrain Mirror: The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAT) has called for a demonstration on Saturday (May 12th, 2018) in London to protest the king's visit to Britain to attend the Windsor Horse Show as a guest of honor of Queen Elizabeth.
Last year, Bahraini activists planned to protest, and faced severe consequences for themselves and their family members, it said, calling upon supporters of human rights, equality, freedom of expression and peace, to stand with them in solidarity, demonstrate and take action.
CAT said Bahraini activists in exile are calling for support to protest the King's Cup, adding that they will raise the slogans #StopArmingRepression and #BahrainRoyalWhitewash.
"This is a whitewash: the UK government is protecting UK arms sales and the military relationship in the face of an ever deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain."
CAT stressed that Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is joining the Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on 12th May and that he wants to whitewash his human rights abuses in Bahrain, gain himself legitimacy, and make it easier to secure future arms deals to his regime.
In spite of its horrifying human rights record, CAT highlighted that the Bahraini regime is a major target for UK arms sales: since the pro-democracy uprising began in February 2011 and was faced with violent suppression, the UK has licensed £82million worth of arms to Bahrain.
CAT called for meeting them at 11.45am at Paddington Station to travel to the venue.
Bahraini activits reported how they were harassed last year after protesting: Our plans to protest were interrupted when Bahraini authorities forced our family members in Bahrain to make phone calls to us, here in the UK. Before even reaching the RWHS grounds, our family members were arrested and interrogated by security forces at the Muharraq Police Station. From there, they were forced to call us and warn us about what the consequences would be if we continued with our protests in the UK.
"For these reasons, many of us do not feel safe to protest this year. Therefore, we call upon supporters of human rights, equality, freedom of expression and peace, to stand with us in solidarity and demonstrate outside RWHS on 12th May 2018."
On a related note, posters that read slogans protesting against the Bahraini king's visit were seen on a number of public buses in the British capital yesterday, according to the Al-Jazeera website.