‘UK, Saudi lobbied UN on Bahrain abuses’

A recent report reveals that Britain and Saudi Arabia have worked hand in gloves to water down the United Nations’ criticism of the Bahraini regime for its poor human rights record.

According to documents obtained by British newspaper The Observer, London and Riyadh had lobbied the UN last year to whitewash the Al Khalifah regime’s rights abuses, including the use of torture by Bahraini regime forces.

‘UK, Saudi lobbied UN on Bahrain abuses’

The documents, citing sources familiar with the initiative, said London went to great lengths to persuade members of the international community that “things were improving” in Bahrain, and to dissuade them from issuing a condemnatory diplomatic statement that would greatly damage Bahrain’s international reputation.

The source added that UK and Saudi representatives sought to convince UN member states to sign off the world body’s statements on Bahrain’s rights violations.

A comparison of an original and final UN draft on Bahrain obtained by The Observer last September showed the contents had been heavily watered down, according to those familiar with the matter.

“The first draft contained many more condemnatory elements than the final outcome,” a source said, adding, “The UK managed to significantly weaken the contents of the text.