Conservative MP Bob Stewart, who told a human rights activist to return to Bahrain, received £10,000 hospitality from a brutal regime
The Beckenham MP has also defended the regime in Parliament, despite the fact that, according to Human Rights Watch, the Bahraini government has engaged in heavy repression.
Conservative MP Bob Stewart, who was recently filmed telling a Bahraini dissident who was imprisoned and tortured for his human rights activism in the country to “go back to Bahrain,” has much deeper ties to the country’s authoritarian rulers than many realize..
Stewart, who once declared “God save the king of Bahrain” during a speech, has received at least £10,000 in hospitality and travel from the country’s leaders, The Independent previously reported.
The member for Beckenham has also defended the regime in Parliament, despite the fact that, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Bahraini government has engaged in heavy repression, including the arrest and torture of children during the 2011 pro-democracy campaign. uprisings in the country.
HRW further states, “All independent Bahraini media have been banned since 2017 from operating in the country and all opposition groups have been dissolved. In 2021, three inmates died in Bahrain’s prisons amid allegations of medical negligence. There are currently 26 people on death row, all of whom are at imminent risk of execution.
“The government has put six people to death since it ended a moratorium on executions in 2017. The authorities have arrested, prosecuted, and harassed human rights defenders, journalists, and opposition leaders, including for their activity on social networks.
Nevertheless, in November of this year, Stewart praised the Bahraini government during his visit to the country, saying it had done a very good job of changing the way it deals with its citizens.
Praising the autocratic government, he said, “I can say this now, as a British [citizen]: God save the King of England, and God save the King of Bahrain !
The Independent reported that Stewart was in the country before his elections, which were internationally condemned as a sham. Amnesty International also says the country has tightened restrictions on freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
Basit Mahmood is editor-in-chief Left Foot Forward