SHAFAQNA – A prominent Bahraini human rights activist says the UK received the airbase north of Bahrain as a reward for London’s silence on the Manama regime’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in the Persian Gulf country.
The opposition politician and president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab has told Press TV’s UK Desk that the airbase in the Mina Salman Port is a “gift” for the UK’s “services” to the regime in Manama.
He said the British government has thus contributed to Manama’s severe suppression of anti-government protest since mid-February 2011.
Rajab noted that the “UK government also took part on the crackdown; maybe not at the military level, but at the PR level, at the support of the government of Bahrain, and opposing the struggle of Bahrainis,” adding that “for that reason, it’s very clear to all Bahrainis this base come[s] as a gift, and we don’t accept that. It is not going to be welcomed by the Bahraini people.”
He said, “The UK in the past few years has chosen to be with the repressive [Manama] regime, and not with the struggle of people of Bahrain for democracy, justice and human right. For that reason, Bahraini people don’t see the UK government as a friendly government to our legitimate demand.
Rajab added that “in fact, they were doing a PR to make Bahrain’s image look better internationally. And, they were misleading the UK public opinion and international community, and the reality of the human rights situation in Bahrain. And they have supported the repressive regime instead of pressuring the repressive regime to introduce a democratic major and to address the legitimate demand of the Bahraini people.”
His comments come as Britain has signed an agreement with Bahrain to expand and consolidate its long-term naval presence in the Persian Gulf region despite the Manama regime’s ongoing crackdown on public dissent.
Source : PressTV.com