Torture in Bahrain

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Several victims of torture in Bahrain gave harrowing testimonies of their ordeals and those of their loved-ones at this seminar at the House of Lords in London. Some are exiled in the UK after having been forced to leave their country because of their political opposition to the Al Khalifah regime. Two and a half years after a huge popular uprising broke out in the Persian Gulf nation, human rights defenders say that police officers who murdered and tortured protestors have not been held to account. Meanwhile, western nations, including the UK, continue to supply the regime with weapons and provide it with political support. Manama says that the uprising was instigated by foreign powers - a reference to Iran - and that it's thoroughly investigated alleged abuses. It says it's currently conducting a national dialogue with the opposition to bring about national reconciliation and reform. These, however, downplay realities on the ground. The message from this seminar is that the human rights situation is getting worse in Bahrain despite the international spotlight on the country. And that can only mean that the regime has concluded that the so-called international pressure on it is not serious.

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