UK rights activists have gathered outside Bahrain’s embassy in London to call on the British government and the rest of the international community to stand up to the Bahraini regime and stop its brutal treatment of anti-government protesters.
During the Wednesday event, activists held placards and signs that condemned Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifah family’s bloody crackdown in the town of Diraz and its surroundings, which began on Tuesday and has so far led to the death of at least six protesters.
Bahraini regime forces stormed the residence of Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of the country’s Shia majority in the village, arresting everyone inside the house.
“We have gathered here to express our fierce anger of the bloody crackdown by the Al Khalifah regime of the peaceful protesters in Diraz,” said former Bahraini MP Jalal Fairooz, who attended the event.
“It was very obvious that the king of Bahrain has returned from Riyadh with the green light from [US] President Trump and from Al Saud to crack down on the Shias and the opposition,” in his country, he added, pointing to the Bahraini monarch Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah trip to Saudi Arabia to meet Trump and Saudi King Salman.
Also present among protesters was Saeed Shehabi, a Bahraini political activist from Diraz.
Referring to the recent bombing attack in the British city of Manchester that killed 22 people and injured about 120, Shehabi said that the UK and the US should end their support for Al Khalifah and Al Saudi families as their actions help spread terrorism beyond the Middle East and towards the West.
“This dictatorship of Al Khalifah and Al Saud is destroying the region, not only the region but also the world,” he argued. “They are supporting terrorism and what we saw in Manchester is partly due to their support to ISIS (Daesh) and al-Qaeda.”
Anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom in February 2011.
The Manama regime has spared no effort to clamp down on dissent and rights activists. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist Manama in its crackdown.
The UK government has come under fire for providing Bahraini security forces with intelligence and training, without considering their long record of torture and abuse against prisoners.
The US has also struck major arms deals with Bahrain, ignoring its own regulations on selling weapons to countries with a poor human rights history.