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Arms trade: Campaigners picket Bahrain PR event over British royal support for oppressive regime

Anti-arms campaigners picket a Bahraini business PR event to demand the British royal family stop supporting the Gulf state's oppressive regime

Anti-arms campaigners picketed a Bahraini business PR event yesterday to demand the British royal family stop supporting the country’s oppressive regime.

Protesters wearing black gas masks lay on the floor next to mock CS gas canisters outside the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in Westminster, where the This is Bahrain conference is trying to promote the repressive Gulf state and its business interests.

The Duke of York had been due to attend but didn’t because of a reported clash in his schedule.

Members of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) joined Bahrainis living in Britain to demand the government and royal family sever all ties with the country’s regime.

Demonstrator Sam Walton said: “Bahrain is trying to white-wash their reputation.

“Their human rights record is worse than a joke. Their princes are implicated in the torture of people who have been expressing their democratic rights.

“The real problem is that Britain is still arming them. We are currently trying to flog them Eurofighter Typhoons.

“Today is the first time the royal family has waned in its support for Bahrain by Prince Andrew not showing up.”

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against the Arms Trade said: “Every time the government sells weapons and every time the royal family meets the Bahraini government we are not just giving them military support, we are giving them political support.

“It legitimises an oppressive and illegitimate regime.”


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