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UK Unaware of Saudi Involvement in Bahrain Torture

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TEHRAN, May 18 (ICANA) – The British government says it is unable to confirm reports of torture being used by members of Saudi forces presently deployed in Bahrain to assist in the crackdown against protests or of prisoners being transferred to Saudi Arabia.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 8:09:19 PM
UK Unaware of Saudi Involvement in Bahrain Torture

“We have seen no evidence that (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council forces have done anything other than safeguard installations in Bahrain,” said Foreign Office Minister Lord Howell.

In a written reply to parliament published Wednesday, Howell said that Foreign Secretary William Hague met his Saudi counterpart in London in March and held “a constructive discussion on Bahrain.”

“The Foreign Secretary and Prince Saud agreed that the (Persian) Gulf Co-operation Council forces, who are in Bahrain at the legitimate invitation of the Bahraini Government, should work to create the right conditions for a successful dialogue,” he said.

In reply to a separate question, the minister also said that Britain was unaware that Bahraini citizens under arrest have been transferred to Saudi Arabia.

“We have seen no evidence that Bahraini citizens under arrest have been transferred to Saudi Arabia,” he told peers in the House of Lords.

On Tuesday, Howell also issued a similar reply when asked if the UK government had made an assessment or made any representations about whether the actions of Saudi Arabian forces complied with human rights.

But he said that Britain had made it clear to the Bahraini Government that “the civil rights of peaceful opposition figures, the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly must be respected.”

“We also expect it to meet all its human rights obligations by ensuring its citizens can exercise the universal human rights and freedoms to which they are entitled and to which it has committed,” he added.

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