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Rights group urges UK PM to address Bahrain human rights abuses

December 5, 2016 at 11:43 am

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is being pressured to tackle Bahrain’s human rights abuses during her visit to the Gulf state.

In a press release, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy urged May to address the lockdown on personal and press freedoms in Bahrain and the rest of the Gulf states.

The group warned: “Claims of reform are disingenuous in light of escalating repression and urge her not relegate human rights to the background.”

The director of advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy said in a statement: “In her last meeting with Bahrain’s King in London, Theresa May failed to speak about human rights abuses and spoke instead of reform in Bahrain, which is simply not happening.”

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei warned that “if she again fails to speak out on human rights in the Gulf and continued unrest in Bahrain, then it will seem that the prime minister’s policies are solely based on financial interests without ethics or morality. Such a policy would be unsustainable and counter-productive and a betrayal of pro-democracy campaigners who languish in prisons for courageously advocating for change.”

May is departing from London today to attend a two-day GCC Summit taking place in Bahrain.

The Gulf state 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.