05 December 2016 - 14:11
News ID: 425535
Rasa - British Prime Minister Theresa May has been urged to pressure the government of Bahrain over resorting to crackdown to silence the voice of dissent in the Persian Gulf tiny nation, when she visits leaders of the country along with other regional Arab states.
British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) greets King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa outside 10 Downing Street in London on October 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

RNA - Human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, called on the premier Sunday to raise concerns about the human rights situation in Bahrain as she attends a meeting of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council.


"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," May was told in a statement.


The premier, meanwhile, released a statement, commenting about the harsh crackdown in the country, where most of the population are Shia Muslims.


She said the only way to solve the problem is to engage "with these countries and working with them to encourage and support their plans for reform.”


Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country on February 14, 2011. The protesters demand that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power.


Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the regime’s crackdown.


Besides giving the security forces carte blanche in their treatment of protesters, the regime has also been using the legal channels at its disposal to muzzle dissent.


Leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman are set to have dinner with May on Tuesday.


"There is so much we can do together - whether it is helping one another to prevent terrorist attacks, [Persian] Gulf investment regenerating cities across the UK or British businesses helping [Persian] Gulf countries to achieve their long-term vision of reform," said the UK premier, tasked with quitting the European Union following a June referendum.

"As the United Kingdom leaves the EU, I am determined to forge a bold, confident future for ourselves in the world," she added.


Britain voted to exit the EU in a referendum on June 23 after 43 years of membership. The vote called 'Brexit' stirred up political turmoil and sent economic shockwaves through Britain as well as global financial markets.


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