CAAT: Queen hosting King of Bahrain for Windsor Horseshow is a moral disgrace

King Hamad of Bahrain is in UK for Windsor Horseshow at invitation of Queen Elizabeth

  • King Hamad of Bahrain is in UK for Windsor Horseshow at invitation of Queen Elizabeth
  • Recent years have seen a further intensification of the repression in Bahrain
  • UK has licensed £100 million worth of arms since crackdown began following 2011 uprising

Campaigners have condemned Buckingham Palace’s decision to invite King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain over to the UK for the Windsor Horse Show. The event, which has included Bahraini participation for years, presents a major public relations opportunity for the regime.

Over recent years there has been a further intensification of the repression of rights in Bahrain. Human Rights Watch has accused the Bahraini authorities of torture, arbitrary citizenship revocations and the intimidation and abuse of human rights campaigners. Last month the Bahrain Council of Representatives passed amendments expanding the use of the death penalty in Bahrain.

Despite the repression in Bahrain, the UK government has continued to arm and support the regime. Since the uprising began in February 2011, the UK has licensed over £100 million worth of arms to the Bahraini authorities. In 2018 the UK opened a permanent naval base in Bahrain, largely paid for by Bahrain.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:

This visit is a moral disgrace. It offers a major international stage to a dictatorship that has a long history of repression. The UK Government has made itself complicit in the abuses by arming and supporting the Bahraini authorities, regardless of the consequences. The UK should be standing with the human rights campaigners calling for change, not with the regime which is denying basic rights.

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights & Democracy said:

It is shameful that King Hamad is going to be offered a seat next to the Queen. The Bahraini regime continues to jail and torture human rights defenders and journalists. The UK Government continues to look the other way and cover up Bahrain’s appalling rights record by investing in arms sales and a new naval base in return. This toxic relationship must come to an end.


For further information please contact Andrew at media(at)caat·org·uk or call 020 7281 0297.

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