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Amnesty slams UK for whitewashing Bahrain human rights abuses

November 22, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Amnesty International has slammed the UK government for its whitewashing of human rights abuses in Bahrain.

In a 55-page report which was published yesterday, the human right’s organisation has accused the British government of attempting to distemper human rights abuses in Bahrain by “cheerleading” the Bahraini government’s “woefully inadequate reforms”.

“Amnesty International has documented serious human rights violations, including torture and other ill-treatment and excessive use of force by security forces with little accountability. The government has continued to severely restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, to imprison critics and opponents as prisoners of conscience,” the report said.

The report, which was conducted by interviewing over 90 victims of human rights abuses, along with family members and lawyers gave an insight of the way the Bahraini government cracks down on personal freedoms.

It has also assessed the extent in which the UK government has trained and supported the ombudsman of Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior and the Special Investigations Unit, and thus directly perpetuating human rights abuses in the kingdom.

Amnesty has called on the UK “to ensure the evaluation of its technical assistance programme for Bahrain contains measurable benchmarks which align with the key principles of independence, promptness, transparency and effectiveness outlined in this report and to publish its evaluation.”

Bahrain is notorious for its crackdown on freedom of speech. Journalists, academics and even citizens who speak out against the government have been systematically arrested and even tortured for their dissent.