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Video: UK MP Margaret Farrier: We Are Forming a Parliamentary Group on Human Rights in Gulf

Bahrain Mirror: UK Member of Parliament Margaret Farrier said that she, in addition to other MPs, are working on establishing a human rights parliamentary group concerned with human rights affairs in the Gulf. She clarified that she is "just waiting for the confirmation that I can go ahead" and launch its work.

In an exclusive interview with Lualua TV (Saturday November 19, 2016), MP Farrier said that the group is "an all-party parliamentary group on democracy and human rights in the Gulf". She added, "As the name suggests, I reached out to other member of parliament from all parties and so we got together, and it's basically to discuss these issues of human rights abuses and the revocation of citizenship in some of the Gulf countries as well." "We're just at the very beginning but hopefully in the next few weeks we'll have our first meeting and being together some NGOs and some good speakers," she went on to say.

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UK gov't urged to call for release of Bahraini activist

The UK government should call for the release of a prominent Bahraini political activist who was charged with “inciting hatred of the political system” after he criticiced the recent visit to the Gulf kingdom by Britain’s Prince Charles, a rights group has said.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement that Ebrahim Sharif, former leader of the National Democratic Action Society, could face a prison term of up to three years, adding that it is a "clear violation of his right to free expression".

Sharif, whom authorities released pending trial, told Human Rights Watch that officers from the Cyber Crime Directorate called him in for questioning on the morning of November 13. He said they questioned him about his comments in the Associated Press article, after which a public prosecutor charged him with violating article 165 of Bahrain’s penal code.

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Amnesty slams UK for whitewashing Bahrain human rights abuses

In a 55-page report which was published yesterday, the human right’s organisation has accused the British government of attempting to distemper human rights abuses in Bahrain by “cheerleading” the Bahraini government’s “woefully inadequate reforms”.

“Amnesty International has documented serious human rights violations, including torture and other ill-treatment and excessive use of force by security forces with little accountability. The government has continued to severely restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, to imprison critics and opponents as prisoners of conscience,” the report said.

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Amnesty: UK 'utterly disingenuous' about human rights in Bahrain

British ministers have acted like overexcited cheerleaders for Bahrain’s woefully inadequate human rights reforms, Amnesty International has said, ahead of an expected visit next month by Theresa May on the sidelines of the annual Gulf Cooperation Council summit.

Ministers ought to be confronting the awkward reality that the institutions set up in Bahrain with UK support “are seriously flawed and widely seen as a PR exercises”, Amnesty said.


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Five years have passed since the government agreed to adopt the measures the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report said were needed to address the serious human rights violations committed during the 2011 uprising and hold those suspected to be responsible to account. The Bahraini government claims that the human rights oversight bodies it created, the Ombudsman of the Ministry of Interior and the Special Investigations Unit, have served this purpose. The two institutions were given wide-reaching mandates and resources to ensure accountability, and have received support and training from in particular the UK government. They have achieved some successes in investigating and prosecuting human rights violations. However, they have too often failed to fulfil their roles in a sufficiently prompt, adequate and transparent manner to ensure accountability and act as an effective deterrent. Much work is still needed to break the country’s long-standing culture of impunity. The Ombudsman and the Special Investigations Unit need to urgently address their failings if they are not to lose credibility. In particular, they must ensure all alleged human rights violations are investigated in an effective, adequate, transparent and prompt manner and those responsible are brought to justice.


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Britain should stop blocking democracy and human rights progress in Bahrain

What a summer it was for the Establishment in Bahrain and Britain. As the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, clasped his ears, the King of Bahrain roared with laughter. It was a Sunday evening in May and the upper tier of British royals watched as Her Majesty’s Household troops fired an artillery salute for her 90th birthday; the Queen had invited King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa personally to join the celebrations. He is considered to be such a close friend that he sat directly next to Queen Elizabeth. This was no accident. Their family friendship goes back generations.

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Critic of UK Royals’ Visit Faces Charges

Bahraini authorities have charged a prominent political activist with “inciting hatred of the political system” after he criticized Bahrain’s government and the November 8 to 11, 2016, visit to Bahrain by Britain’s Prince Charles. The charge against Ebrahim Sharif, former leader of the National Democratic Action Society, carries a prison term of up to three years and is a clear violation of his right to free expression.

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Bahrain: Human rights defender Ghada Jamsheer remains in jail despite poor health

Women’s rights defender, writer and blogger Ghada Jamsheer remains in jail in Bahrain serving a combined ten-month sentence for exercising her right to free expression on Twitter. On 7 November 2016, Jamsheer appeared before Judge Mohamed Al-Khalifa of the High Criminal Court of Appeal to request that she be freed to serve out the remainder of her sentences outside of jail due to health concerns, however, the judge has not yet informed her of his decision

Jamsheer, President of the Women’s Petition Committee (WPC), is being held in connection with multiple sentences imposed relating to her tweets exposing corruption within the management of King Hamad Hospital, which is run by members of the ruling family.

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