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THE British army is training a Gulf dictator’s bodyguards, the Morning Star can reveal.
Seven “red caps” from the Royal Military Police (RMP) were photographed in Bahrain on Sunday with King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, the country’s ruler.
They were flanked by Bahraini women soldiers from the king’s elite Royal Guard unit.
Another snap shows a red cap in a hi-vis vest supervising Royal Guards as they fire live ammunition on a shooting range.
The pictures were published by the state-run Bahrain News Agency.
The bodyguard work is routine for the RMP, which has a close protection unit that specialises in escorting VIPs.
However, human rights activists are alarmed that British soldiers are helping to protect Bahrain’s unelected rulers. They say that this shows just how closely this country is linked to repression in the Gulf.
Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (Bird) advocacy associate Lily Chamberlain said the training was “incredibly concerning.”
She added: “These photographs demonstrate that the British government continues to place its lucrative Gulf alliances above respect for human rights.”
The Royal Guard unit is run by the king’s son Prince Nasser, whom Bird accuses of involvement in human rights abuses. He denies the allegations.
Ms Chamberlain said: “Prince Nasser, who had his diplomatic immunity revoked by the British High Court in 2014, has been repeatedly accused of personally participating in the torture of Bahraini citizens in 2011.
“He has regularly boasted on social media about his participation in the Saudi-led war on Yemen, whose indiscriminate bombing of schools and hospitals has killed tens of thousands of civilians.”
The Ministry of Defence has been approached for comment.
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