Britain urged to ban royal head of Bahrain Olympic committee
by: Ian Black guardian.co.uk, 20 June 2012
Britain is being urged to deny entry to the head of Bahrain's Olympic committee – the son of the king – on the grounds of alleged involvement in serious human rights violations in the Gulf island state.
Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa is claimed to have been "personally engaged" in beating, flogging and kicking pro-democracy protestors during Bahrain's brief chapter in the Arab spring last year.
Documents submitted to David Cameron and William Hague, the foreign secretary, and seen by the Guardian, describe how Sheikh Nasser launched "a punitive campaign to repress Bahraini athletes who had demonstrated their support (for) the peaceful pro-democracy movement.
"Following his directives more than 150 professional athletes, coaches and referees were subjected to arbitrary arrests, night raids, detention, abuse and torture by electric cables and other means," said the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), a Berlin-based group.
Mohammed Hassan Jawad described how he and Mohammed Habeebe al-Muqdad were treated by the king's son at Manama Fort prison clinic on April 9 after they had taken part in a demonstration calling for the overthrow of the regime. "He started abusing us, began to flog, beat and kicked us everywhere," Jawad told a dissident newspaper quoted by the ECCHR. "He took a rest and drank water and then resumed the torture by pulling us from our hair and beards. No one else was involved in our torture and hence agony... He ordered the jailers to put our feet up to beat us. The torture continued for almost half a day until dawn."