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Sat Dec 6, 2014, 09:53 PM

British military base in Bahrain is a 'reward' for UK's silence on human rights, say campaigners


The Royal Navy will set up a permanent base in Bahrain, to the dismay of human rights campaigners who say the base is a “reward” for the British’s government silence over torture, attacks on peaceful protesters and arbitrary detention in the tiny kingdom.

British minesweeper vessels have operated from temporary structures at Mina Salmon port for several years, but speaking in Bahrain the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond announced a new deal with kingdom for a £15m naval base. It will be able to host destroyers and the Royal Navy's powerful new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers, which are currently under construction in Scotland.

Britain closed all is major bases east of the Suez canal following major defence spending cuts in 1971 and while the return to the region has been welcomed by defence sources, it has been widely condemned by Bahraini human rights activists who have attacked the British Government’s ongoing support for the “repressive regime” in Manama.

During the Arab Spring in 2011 the UK and US supported Bahrain’s Sunni-dominated government after it violently put down protests by the majority Shia population.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-military-base-in-bahrain-is-a-reward-for-uks-silence-on-human-rights-say-campaigners-9908284.html

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