Bahrain Funds U.Ks Military Academy!*
Hamad bin Essa Al Khalifa has donated £3 million to Britain’s internationally-renowned elite officer training academy, Sandhurst, local media reported.
Despite global denouncement of the Bahraini regime following a brutal crackdown on ongoing pro-democracy protests in the tiny Persian Gulf island country, the academy accepted the donation honorably in January, British media reported.
Bahrain has been in crisis since a revolt led by mainly Shi’a Muslims began 18 months ago to demand democracy in the Sunni-ruled dictatorship.
Bahrainis have been holding frequent demonstrations in support of political prisoners since hundreds of opposition activists were arrested as part of Manama crackdown on protests last year.
The tiny island state, which is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has been the scene of anti-regime protests since February last year and scores of people have been killed and hundreds more injured in the Saudi-backed crackdown.
The protesters say they will continue their protests until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met.
Witnesses and victims of torture within Bahrain have reported in recent months that Prince Nasser, son of Al Khalifa, has been personally beating and torturing some of the activists who demand democracy.
This comes as the UK government invited Nasser as a special guest at the recent London Olympics event, even though Foreign Secretary William Hague had pledged that individuals with records of human rights abuses would not be granted a visa into Britain.
Jeremy Corbyn MP condemned Sandhurst academy’s decision to accept the donation from the Bahraini dictator.
“Bahrain has an appalling human rights record and even now medical practitioners are on trial for helping victims,’ he said.
“It is disgraceful that the British government should allow the King of Bahrain to fund Sandhurst and it seems there is a completely different set of standards on human rights relating to Bahrain, compared to many other states in the [Persian] Gulf and Middle East region,” he added.
Meanwhile, Britain continued to train Bahraini army officers at Sandhurst months after the island state began its brutal crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators.