General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of Britain’s Defense Staff (CDS), arrived in Bahrain on Tuesday, only a day after the Bahraini regime stripped Sheikh Isa Qassim, the country’s top Shia cleric, of his citizenship, accusing him of sowing “sectarianism and violence.”
Senior Bahraini Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim (photo by AFP)
Houghton met with Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the commander-in-chief of the Bahrain Defense Force.
UK-based activism group, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), condemned the visit, saying, “Bahrain’s ally, the UK, did not even postpone a meeting on military cooperation, let alone issue a statement on this gross repression of Bahrain’s civil society,” referring to the intensified Bahraini crackdown on dissent.
The BIRD was referring to the declared purpose of the visit, namely follow-up coordination between the two countries in the wake of a bilateral agreement to establish a new British naval base in Bahrain.
“Britain is giving Bahrain a green light for repression,” the group said.
Allan Hogarth, the Amnesty International UK’s head of policy and government affairs, also addressed the issue, saying, “Since its shiny new naval base in Bahrain was announced, the UK has apparently been prioritizing its military ties rather than rocking the boat over the Bahrain’s increasingly dismal human rights record.”
British MP, Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the visit was a “sad demonstration of just how little” the British government cares about human rights.
Bahrain has been in turmoil since a 2011 uprising demanding greater civil and political rights from the Saudi-backed monarchy.
From the archives:
Press TV, 14 November 2015
Press TV, 3 January 2015
Press TV, 17 January 2014
Press TV, 15 April 2013
SOURCES: PressTV Submitted by Cem Ertür War Press Info Network at : https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/uk-army-bahrain/ ~ Re-publications are welcome, but we kindly ask you, to facilitate the correct information's diffusion, to cite all these original links and sources.
NOTE: The contents of the articles, speeches or comments on this page are of sole responsibility of their authors. The team and the editorial staff of War Press Info do not necessarily subscribe every point of view expressed and are not responsible for any inaccurate, incorrect or offensive statement in this article. Complaints and corrections (verifiable) will be welcomed and accepted. Copyright owners can notify their claims to us, and the verified contents will be removed.
SCROLL DOWN TO READ OR LEAVE COMMENTS