Apr 8 2012
Marking her 60th year of reign, the British Queen has raised the ire of human rights activists by inviting the ruler of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, to a lunch hosted by the Queen in May at Windsor Castle and also to a champagne dinner at Buckingham Palace the same day.
This comes as the jailed Bahraini human rights campaigner Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is in critical condition after being on hunger strike for two months now.
Britain has supplied the Bahraini regime with both arms and tactics so that it would be able to ruthlessly suppress pro-democracy demonstrators. Bahraini regime’s forces, backed by British-trained Saudi troops, have killed scores of people since February 2011.
A report published in November by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry revealed that the al-Khalifa regime in Bahrain has systematically tortured protesters and committed human rights violations.
Britain sold more than £1m worth of rifles and military equipment to the al-Khalifa regime over the past year. Furthermore, Britain deployed former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner, John Yates, in Bahrain to supervise the regime forces cracking down on protesters.
Britain’s support for the al-Khalifa regime and the British Queen’s extending an invitation to the Bahraini tyrant seems to be part of the Perpetual Truce of Peace and Friendship.
In 1820, Britain signed a treaty with the al-Khalifa dynasty and announced the Khalifas as the rulers of Bahrain. Further treaties were concluded in 1861 and all treaties formed the Perpetual Truce of Peace and Friendship.
According to the treaties, the Al Khalifa regime could only dispose of the land to the UK and could not establish relationship with any country without first seeking the approval of Britain in return for Britain’s protecting the regime.
‘Friendship’ between Britain and Bahrain has this time popped up on the British Queen’s guest list so that one of the world’s most tyrant rulers can enjoy another extravagant royal ceremony in Britain marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Last year, Bahrain’s crown prince was invited to the royal wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. Furthermore, in January this year, the UK’s Countess of Wessex accepted two sets of jewellery from the Bahraini royal family.