The National, 19 October
LONDON // Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have objected strongly to criticism from British Members of Parliament who accuse the David Cameron government of failing to promote human rights in key Gulf allies.
A report published on Wednesday by parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee criticised the British government for its reaction to unrest in Bahrain last year, and is the latest in a series of moves by back bench MPs seeking a review of relations with Gulf states.
“Given the Bahraini authorities’ brutal repression of demonstrators in February and March 2011, we believe that Bahrain should have been designated as a country of concern in the [Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s] 2011 report on human rights and democracy,” the report stated.
It went on to accuse the government of hypocrisy for failing to encourage a boycott of the Bahrain Grand Prix while enforcing a boycott of the group stages in this year’s football European Championship in Ukraine over human-rights issues.
Bahrain has rejected the report, saying the British government made the right choice in leaving the decision up to Formula One organisers.