Campaigners say torture and unfair trials are the norm in Bahrain and have urged Mrs May to tackle the country’s leaders when she fliers out today
Campaigners claim torture, disappearances, arbitrary arrests and unfair trials are the norm. They called on the PM to use her influence “to press the Bahrain government to put an immediate stop to this repression”.
Action groups including Human Rights Watch, Reprieve and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), wrote to Mrs May urging her to press Bahrain on legal and political reforms.
They claimed torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and unfair trials were “the norm”.
They tell the PM: “The Bahraini authorities’ orchestrated attack on the rights to free expression, assembly and association, has seriously undermined the prospects of a political solution to Bahrain’s domestic unrest.
“If your government is serious about its commitment to encouraging reform and dialogue, you should use this influence to press the government of Bahrain to put an immediate stop to this repression.”
Mrs May will become the first woman to attend the annual meeting of the Gulf Co-operation Council, comprising Saudi Arabia , Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, as she pursues £30billion of “high-value opportunities” for British businesses after Brexit.
She said: “There will be some people in the UK who say we shouldn’t seek stronger trade and security ties with these countries because of their record on human rights.
“But we achieve far more by stepping up and working with them to encourage and support their plans for reform.”