UK Spooks Involved in Controversial Police Training Scheme for Despotic Bahrain Regime, Vice

2018-07-14 - 11:32 p

Bahrain Mirror: British spooks appear to be involved in a controversial security assistance scheme for a despotic regime, the Vice news website revealed. The UK government is using a secretive pot of money to deliver classified programmes in Bahrain.

The scheme costs potentially over a million pounds and is part of a new "Integrated Activity Fund", endorsed by the Cabinet Office's National Security Council, added Vice.

The website revealed that when a Bahraini human rights group made a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to ask how the money was spent, the UK Cabinet Office said that "due to the nature of the Integrated Activity Fund and all the Programmes being funded by it."

The UK government gave a number of justifications for not disclosing the information to the public, including fear that it would damage diplomatic ties with Bahrain.

Vice noted that the news has troubled some parliamentarians, who say the UK government's relationship with Bahrain is becoming far too secretive. Lord Scriven, a Lib Dem peer, has asked the government why it suddenly stopped releasing details of its programmes in Bahrain.

For his part, Lib Dem Peer Lord Scriven told VICE that he had "never known anything quite like this... the more you dig the more defensive and more opaque the government's answers become. I'm now of the opinion that Parliament hasn't been told the truth or the whole truth... somewhere along the line British security forces are involved in this particular scheme and the government doesn't wish that to be known."

He further stressed that "the government's relationship with the Bahrain authorities is far too friendly and I think that's driven partly by the trade that we have with them, over military and arms sales."

Concluding the article, its author Phil Miller said that "it is clear that the UK was already deeply involved with some of Bahrain's most controversial security units, and that relationship is only set to deepen behind a new veil of secrecy where FoI requests will no longer be able to penetrate." The Cabinet Office decline to comment.


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المصدر: Bahrain Mirror
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