Conservative MP Bob Stewart tells tortured human rights activist to “go back to Bahrain”
Alwadaei asked the MP, “How much did you sell out to the Bahraini regime?”.
Conservative MP Bob Stewart is facing widespread condemnation for telling a Bahraini dissident who was imprisoned and tortured for his human rights activism in the country to “go back to Bahrain”.
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, alleged that the comments constituted racial abuse and said he planned to report the incident to the police and had already filed a complaint with the Conservative Party.
Video footage emerged of Stewart telling the activist that he is “taking money away from my country” after being challenged for his ties to the Gulf state.
M. Stewart told him, “Get stuffed. Bahrain is a great place, fine, go away, I hate you. You’re making a lot of noise – go back to Bahrain.
Alwadaei asked the congressman, “How much did you sell out to the Bahraini regime?”.
The MP replied, “I did not, now you shut up, you idiot… You take money from my country, go away. ”
In a later statement, Alwadaei said, “I don’t think I would have been told to ‘go back’ to the country that violently tortured me if it wasn’t for the color of my skin.
“No one should be subjected to racial slurs, especially for holding a member of parliament accountable for accepting lavish gifts from one of the most repressive regimes in the world. ”
Stewart told PA: “My mistake was being pushed into a reaction, and I apologize for that. I also apologize if anyone thinks I was racist – I wasn’t. I meant go back to Bahrain, which is a perfectly safe place, and protest there. He hailed the Gulf state as a “wonderful place to live” and said that “you can worship anything you want in Bahrain – you can worship a tree.
(Photo credit: Youtube)
Basit Mahmood is editor-in-chief of Left Foot Forward