The SNP has been proactive in calling the UK Government to account for its support for the Bahraini Government. This Government has tortured and wrongly imprisoned journalists and their families, all while the UK Government has provided infrastructure funding to their government which has reportedly been misused (even, reportedly, to fund parties and events for the country’s royal family).
Led by our Westminster group leader, Ian Blackford, the SNP has been vocal in its support of the Amnesty International campaign to ensure that the international community calls for due process and transparency in these cases.
In particular we have been active in the case Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, the Director of the London-based human rights organisation, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy. His family have been imprisoned and convicted of trumped-up charges due to his writings as a journalist, and his decision to seek asylum in the UK following intimidation by police.
Ian Blackford, along with other MPs in the Westminster Group, wrote to the foreign secretary on his case and will continue to pressure the UK Government to hold its allies as well as its enemies to account for their human rights records.
We support responsible engagement with these countries, but our morals cannot be compromised in favour of short-term economic expediency. Bahrain, like Saudi Arabia, is one of the UK’s biggest arms clients: given their inhumane and reckless campaigns that have deliberately targeted civilians in Yemen we think that this is unacceptable, and that the UK can never act as an enabler for such tactics.
The UN has called for the arms trade to the region to be halted, most of our allies have fallen into line on this and so must the UK.