King of Bahrain Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa was met by protestors when he arrived at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday to discuss British-Bahraini bilateral relations with UK Prime Minister Theresa May. May was condemned for receiving the King due to Bahrain taking violent measures to oppress opposition parties and activists.
— Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei (@SAlwadaei) October 26, 2016
— ADHRB (@ADHRB) October 26, 2016
According to an official Downing Street spokesperson, May reiterated the UK’s “firm commitment to the security of the Gulf” including through the UK’s naval base in Bahrain.
The two leaders “discussed the progress that had been achieved through the King’s ongoing domestic reform programme and how to build on that to bring greater inclusivity to the political and social fabric of Bahrain.” They also discussed regional security issues, including Yemen and the fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
The spokesperson did not mention anything of May condemning the Bahraini regime’s crackdown on civil liberties and human rights abuses.
Theresa May expresses UK support for Bahrain dictator and to 'security of the Gulf' (ie, the repressive regime) https://t.co/BIQ1nT4lVl
— Mark Curtis (@markcurtis30) October 28, 2016
King Hamad also invited Theresa May to attend Gulf Cooperation Council Leaders’ Summit in December as a guest of honour. The British premier accepted the invitation.
Prior to the meeting, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy sent a letter to May encouraging her to highlight the Gulf state’s abuses of civic rights.
“The United Kingdom’s influence is strong in Bahrain, but it has not been used to benefits human rights substantively. The only way to positively impact the human rights situation there is to make use of your leverage and to criticise these issues in public,” it said in the letter.
“There is no freedom for political participation, no freedom of expression, and no method by which civil society can organise that is not under the control of the Bahraini government.”