Announcement

British Government concerned by reports of violence in the Middle East

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Secretary William Hague has expressed the UK government's concern on continuing reports overnight of unacceptable violence used against protesters in Libya, Bahrain, and Yemen.

In a statement today, the Foreign Secretary said:

“The British Government is deeply concerned by continuing reports overnight of unacceptable violence used against protesters in Libya, Bahrain, and Yemen and the deaths of protesters.

“Governments must respond to legitimate aspirations of their people rather than resort to the use of force, and must respect the right to peaceful protest.

“I condemn the violence in Libya, including reports of the use of heavy weapons fire and a unit of snipers against demonstrators. This is clearly unacceptable and horrifying. Media access has been severely restricted, and I have also received reports that 35 bodies were brought to one hospital alone. I call on the authorities to stop using force and to rein back the army in confronting the demonstrators. The absence of TV cameras does not mean the attention of the world should not be focussed on the actions of the Libyan government.

“In Bahrain, I urge the Bahraini authorities to reach out to the protesters and to hold to account those responsible for deaths. I am also deeply concerned by reports of the harassment of journalists and we will be making that very clear.”