2023 Portfolios: London Removes Manama from Human Rights Violations List 2 Weeks After 1 Billion Pound Deal

British Prime Minister and Bahrain Crown Prince during their meeting in London
British Prime Minister and Bahrain Crown Prince during their meeting in London

2024-02-21 - 12:29 م

Bahrain Mirror (2023 Portfolios): During his visit to Britain in early July 2023, Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa announced the investment of one billion pounds sterling in the British economy, despite its ongoing crises. 

According to the numbers, the British economy is one of the economies suffering challenges, grappling with the aftermath of Brexit and the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund said the British economy would experience a second consecutive year of contraction, casting doubt on its ability to recover from recession by year-end.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank forecast that it will be 2024 before the UK GDP returns to the pre-pandemic levels from December 2019.

Financial reports, in the days leading up to the crown prince's visit to Britain, highlighted a stagnant growth rate of 0.0% for the UK's gross domestic product.

Although the Bahraini government is aware of all these facts, the crown prince announced a new political deal with Britain, by injecting one billion pounds into an ailing economy.

London has faced widespread criticism for its political cover for Manama, including backing security and judicial agencies to gloss over human rights violations.

British Lord Paul Scriven raised concerns with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, questioning whether the deal was a trade-off for the UK's silence on Bahrain's human rights abuses.

Scriven expressed that while they were busy signing [the memorandum], Bahraini prisoner Dr. Al-Singace completed two years of his strike on solid food in protest against the confiscation of his research, asking him whether he raised his case.

"The UK government must not allow itself to remain complicit in human rights violations in Bahrain," said BIRD. "Instead of continuing to deepen ties with the Al Khalifa regime, Rishi Sunak's government should urge Bahrain to release all political prisoners, including those arrested since 2011."

Ibrahim Sharif, former secretary-general of Wa'ad, pointed out the unusual handling of Mumtalakat state funds as private sector investments, despite Mumtalakat being a government-owned entity.

Nearly two weeks after the deal's announcement, the British Foreign Office removed Bahrain from its annual report on countries violating human rights.

Al-Wefaq criticized the decision as a result of backroom financial dealings between Manama and the UK, condemning it as a betrayal of basic human rights principles in exchange for financial gains and bribes. The Society further dubbed the report "a cheap lie and a dark day" in the history of human rights.

Arabic Version