HRW Researcher: UK Presented Data to UN on Bahrain’s Alleged Success in Reforming its Security Bodies

2015-12-04 - 12:07 ص

Bahrain Mirror: Human Rights Watch's Middle East researcher Nicholas McGeehan said that there is a "public outrage" about explosive revelations that David Cameron was offered lucrative arms and oil deals for British businesses if he helped reign in the Muslim Brotherhood's activities in the UK.

McGeehan added in an article published on the HRW website that leaked emails obtained by The Guardian revealed that "the UAE government is supremely confident of its ability to influence British policy," wondering "what the UK's priorities are in the UAE, and the rest of the Gulf," and "whether the UK's Gulf policy is actually strengthening repression and emboldening authoritarian rulers in the region."

"Take the increasingly bloody current conflict in Yemen, for example. A senior Foreign Office representative recently told my colleagues that the British government "disagrees" with a Human Rights Watch assessment that the Saudi-led coalition may have committed war crimes in the course of air-strikes against Houthi forces," he added, pointing out that "the UK has approved some 37 export licenses for military goods to Saudi Arabia since March, alongside technical support and British liaison personnel based both in Saudi and coalition military headquarters."

"Then consider Bahrain, where just weeks ago - in advance of a UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva - the UK organized briefings by senior British officials for foreign diplomats on the supposed success of Bahrain's efforts to reform its security services (a project the UK supports with financial and technical assistance). Our research shows that Bahrain continues to torture people in detention, but thanks in no small part to the UK's relentless cheerleading of bogus reforms, Human Rights Council criticism has remained relatively muted," he further stated.

The researcher talked in details about the UAE and the campaign it launched against the Muslim Brotherhood that involved "arbitrary detention, forced disappearance, torture and unfair trials," stressing that all of this did not trigger the UK to raise criticism to the UAE and its measures.

He also stressed that the UK "has not spoken out when its own citizens have reported being mistreated in the UAE (...) as it was revealed that between June 2010 and June 2015, 43 British complained to UK officials of torture or mistreatment within the UAE justice system. And it's reasonable to ask if the UK government has done everything in its power on behalf of three British women whose children were taken from them after their allegations of domestic violence were reportedly not investigated by UAE police."

"Yet despite clear evidence that the British government is backing repressive governments in the Gulf, and also supplying arms to an Arab coalition plagued by mounting allegations of war crimes, few in Parliament are asking why. A small band of MPs have consistently criticized UK policy on Bahrain and Saudi, including the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who in September wrote that "we must ... oppose Saudi bombs falling on Yemen and the Bahraini dictatorship murdering its democracy movement, armed by us,"" he concluded.

The Middle East researcher in HRW, Nicholas McGeehan, called for criticizing the UK government "from all corners, including Conservative MPs, and it should be extended to include the UK's open and shameless kow-towing to the UAE," wondering "if reports that David Cameron may be complying with the requests of a foreign government that has reportedly tortured British citizens in detention don't spark outrage, what will?"

Arabic Issue

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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