Gwynne writes to PM over human rights abuses in Bahrain

Denton MP Andrew Gwynne.

Denton's Labour MP Andrew Gwynne says he has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson concerning human rights abuses in Bahrain.

Bahrain is a Middle Eastern country that hit headlines on 17 April, after Bahraini authorities violently attacked over 60 political prisoners.

On 25 May, Home Secretary Priti Patel met with the Bahraini Minister of Interior, Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, who has himself been accused of the persecution of overseeing human rights defenders, journalists, and activists in Bahrain.

Gwynne responded to this meeting with an open letter to the Prime Minister, signed by several cross-party MPs, which says:

“The human rights abuses being perpetrated in Bahrain are abhorrent, and it is unacceptable that the government haven’t applied sanctions or even publicly condemned the abuse.

“The Home Secretary meeting with the Bahraini Minister of Interior shortly after a violent attack on political prisoners is both diplomatically concerning and incredibly insulting to the victims of these abuses.

“I am writing to the Prime Minister, in conjunction with the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, to express my concerns and ask the Government to apply Magnitsy Sanctions to Minister Alkhalifa. The UK needs to make a stand against human rights abuses across the world and needs to be consistent in applying sanctions to states committing them.”

The Tameside MP has also put forward an Early Day Motion, which calls on the government to ‘apply Magnitsky Act Sanctions to Minister Rashid Al Khalifa for his protracted role in overseeing a culture of abuse and a climate of impunity in Bahrain’.

The Motion also highlighted ‘other recent serious human rights abuses, including the detention of children as young as 13 years old, who were subjected to beatings and threats of rape and electric shocks to coerce confessions over charges linked to protest activity.’

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