EP resolution to commute the death sentences on Mohammad Ramadan
The Ombudsman office is collaborating with foreign ministry
UK needs to use leverage with Bahrain and make public representation to ensure that execution does not take place. If it is carried out it will set precedence. Saudis execute more people. In one day they exeucuted 47
Need for FCO to see how tax payer money is used in Bahrain in illegal death sentences.
FCO must account for its expenditure on security and justice in Bahrain. We requested to see how it was obtained and spent to see if they were spent in the wrong way, and to stop whitewashing Bahrain.
Judie Ginsberg CEO of Index on Censorship
Free expression in Bahrain.
Since 2011 uprising which we are marking tonight situation has not improved.
Systematic prosecution of bloggers and political activists. Death sentences
Journalists can be imprisoned for criticising king.
Around 20 journalists and bloggers are in jail. Enforced disappearance.
Torture is effective way for people to censure themselves
Revocation of citizenship to silence people. It is alarming
Online criticism is also problematic
Bahrain is clearly not moving in the right direction
Criticism of the government is the hallmark of democracy. If you don’t have it you don’t have democracy.
Laws to prosecute and persecute journalists. Only one independent newspaper.
Two cases which demonstrate lack of commitment to meet human rights especially freedom of expressionl
The second is Dr Al Singace who is serving life sentence. He finished 313 days of hunger strike. Denied access to family, pen and paper. This is not a regime on democratic path.
Government puts money in insitutitons that appear democratic but are not.
We need to seem more clarity on how our money is spent. Incumbant on governmet to come clean on how it spends money.
BIRD is doing good work.
Sayed Ahmad Al Wadaei, BIRD
BuAzizi set fire to himself, What pushed him to do so?
On 14th Feb 2011, Bahrain witnessed biggest protests in its history.
When first martyr fell on that day, it motivated people and pushed people to Pearl Roundabout. Thousands gathered there and protested. People were liberated from fear on those days.
Soon we had new chapter. Hundreds were injured and arrested marking a new black history.
Five years on the situation has not improved. Human rights defenders are not protected.
If their place is in jail then that is tragic.
UK was last destination of Nabeel Rajab before he was arrested
Philip Hammond said on 20th Jan that Bahrain was moving in the right direction. That was th day when Nabeel was arrested. Ten days later my name was among 72 whose nationality revoked.
Fadhel Abbas criticised Yemen war and he was jailed.
Sheikh Ali Salman was sentenced to four years in jail. These measures to silence the opponents is problematic.
How the laws are changed.
Crackdown has become institutionalised.
These laws could get you seven years if you criticise the king.
What would make UK government say that Bahrain is moving in right direction.
HRW issued repot titled: The blood of people who do not cooperate. Whatever was happening in 2011 is the same as it is happening now.
Crimes against humanity are being committed by the government of Bahrain.
The budget of 2.1 million goes to four institutions; Ombudsman, police training
When the Swiss attempted to issue statement on Bahrian, UK sent delegation from British Embassy in Bahrain to Geneva to lobby states on how Bahrain was reforming.
After that involvement the statement was dramatically changed.
When we talk to states about the situation to European countries, they tell us that Bahrain was reforming. This is what UK government tells them.
This is whitewashing the government.
It is special moment to live those days. When Saudis entered Bahrain they set very destructive events. Sectarian polarisation.
Bahrain is seen as prototype of what would happen elsewhere.
This is time to re-assess the dreams of Arab Spring.
Whey does it matter to you to sit here and engage with activists
Public solidarity is important.
At beginning of the year both governments presented celebrations to mark 200 years of relations.
There are strong historic ties; two monarchies, aristocrats, from Sandhurst to horse shows.
We saw the execution of 47 people in one day. There was effectively no international condemnation.
The second precedent was the British withdrawal of the 5.7 million contract to train Saudis.
Also Sweden’s cancellation of military contracts.