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Wednesday 22nd
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

HUMAN rights campaigners gathered outside the Bahrain embassy in London yesterday calling for the release of a man jailed for criticising the regime on Twitter and an end to reprisal attacks.

Nabeel Rajab faces 15 years in prison for exposing torture in Bahrain’s Jau jail where he is already serving a two-year sentence for “spreading fake news” after giving interviews to journalists.

Mr Rajab’s “offences” also include tweets he sent criticising the devastating war in Yemen waged by the Saudi-led coalition. At least seven million people are on the brink of famine in the war-torn country thanks to a blockade on food and fuel imports imposed by the nine-nation coalition — which includes Bahrain.

Speaking at the protest was Sayeed Alwadei who fled Bahrain for Britain in 2011 after being tortured for taking part in peaceful anti-government protests.

Three of his relatives have been sentenced to three years in a Bahrain prison after confessions made under torture and others continue to be targeted by the authorities.

He said: “The imprisonment of my family is a cowardly attack on human rights defenders. I believe the Bahraini ambassador has direct responsibility for their imprisonment and torture, which is the latest in a campaign of reprisals that has affected my entire family.”

Despite widespread oppression and attacks on human rights, Britain has sold £81 million of weapons to the regime since an uprising began in 2011.

Mr Alwadei added that the British government must tell its “repressive ally” the violent campaign to silence him and his family is unacceptable.

Campaign Against Arms Trade spokesman Andrew Smith said Bahrain should be condemned "not armed and supported by Downing Street and Whitehall.