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On Tuesday, King Hamad met with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London. They discussed the potential purchase of Typhoon warplanes, whilst back in Bahrain a massive crackdown against the opposition was underway. On the back of King Hamad’s visit, Bahrain Watch members discuss the historical, current and legal security situation in Bahrain:


Chasing accountability; facing impunity by Ahmed Ali examines the culture of impunity surrounding the Bahraini security forces and the subsequent failure to enact any significant reform or accountability for human rights violations.


Policing Bahrain: the long arm of the British by John Horne and John Lubbock from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights considers the role of the UK in post-2011 Bahrain, from the hiring of former Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner John Yates to the involvement of the British government in the “reform” process.


The history of British involvement in Bahrain’s internal security by Marc Owen Jones examines the decades long history of British influence over Bahrain’s security forces, both before and after colonial rule. 


The articles form part of a new series at Open Democracy of articles questioning the role of the police across the globe. 


Further information on British involvement in Bahrain can be found in the evidence that Bahrain Watch submitted to the Foreign Affairs Committee Inquiry into UK relations with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which was recently published on the Parliament website.

Our main submission, available here, covers the export of British arms, PR services, surveillance technology and security and legal services. Bahrain Watch member John Horne made a separate submission which explores the high-level access between UK and Bahraini officials, whilst at the same time Bahrain has restricted access to British NGOs, journalists and other outside observers.






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