News story

UK concern at policing of recent protests in Bahrain

Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt concerned at use of 'excessive force'.

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

Commenting on the protests in Bahrain, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt today said:

“I am concerned by the reports of excessive use of force by police during demonstrations in Bahrain that led to the death of two protestors. I call on all sides to exercise restraint and refrain from violence.

The UK will always support, and speak out in defence of, the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression. It is now critical that the Bahraini Government moves quickly to carry out its commitment to a transparent investigation into yesterday’s deaths and any alleged human rights abuses.

When he was in Bahrain last week the Foreign Secretary raised the importance of open, plural societies, and of promoting universal values. I welcome the progress that the Government of Bahrain has made on political reform in the recent past, but it is essential that this process continues to meet legitimate aspirations for greater political and social freedoms”.

Published 16 February 2011