29 September 2015, London – Jeremy Corbyn called to question the Conservative government’s “uncritical support” to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in his Labour conference speech today. The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy welcomes the prioritisation of human rights by the major opposition party.
He stated that “it does not help our national security” to “give such fawning and uncritical support to regimes like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain who abuse their own citizens and repress democratic movements. And who are using British weapons in their assault on Yemen.”
Corbyn also called on David Cameron to intervene with Saudi Arabia’s slated execution and crucifixion of Ali al-Nimr, who was arrested and charged as a child in 2012.
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy: “The UK’s relationship with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is up for debate. Gone is the time when the British government could sweep human rights under the rug while dealing arms to violent regimes.”
As a back bencher, Corbyn had long supported human rights in the Gulf. Since 2011, he has been the primary sponsor of seven Early Day Motions on the subject of human rights violations in Bahrain, and three on Saudi Arabia.