Please, please, do watch the video that starts about three and a half minutes in. Absolutely horrifying yet hilarious brief account of British complicity in torture and repression in Bahrain over sixty years.
It finishes with today’s House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) announcing firmly that their current investigation into UK relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will exclude human rights. The FAC has now published 36 papers of evidence it received in support of the government of Bahrain. It refused to publish any of the 19 papers received from the Bahraini opposition, on the grounds that the complaints of Bahraini government torture and repression might be “libellous” of the people commiting the torture.
I find that fact alone absolutely stunning. It genuinely almost makes me feel suicidal when I understand the extent to which we are losing the battle for human rights and some kind of ethical approach to government and society.
The video in question is poor quality because someone taped it from the screening shown at the meeting. I had asked for the original but was told they are updating it. On the meeting itself, the accounts from Bahrainis are fascinating. There were three Bahraini ex-MPs in the audience who had not only been expelled from parliament but stripped of their Bahraini nationality for supporting the majority of Bahrainis against the despot.
I was originally asked to chair, but while I was ill they had invited someone else, so I ended up making a short speech instead, The other speakers had much more knowledge of Bahrain and are a great deal more interesting.