News ID: 8842
Publish Date: 22 July 2012 - 22:44
A new report has warned that it is disastrous for the 2012 London Olympic Games to be attended by Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa, the head of Bahrain's Olympic Committee, who has been accused of committing crimes against humanity.

According to the Bahrain Freedom Movement's statement, the al-Khalifa regime is sending "one of its most sadistic torturers” to the UK, contrary to British Foreign Secretary William Hague's assertion that anyone engaged in torture would be denied a visa for the Games.

Expressing concerns about the UK's direct arms complicity in the regime's brutal crackdown on women and children, the report also warns that the lives of three prominent detainees, who had testified that Nasser had personally tortured them, are at risk.

Sheikh Mohammad Habib Al Miqdad, Sheikh Mirza Al Mahroos and Mohammad Hassan Jawad are among the detainees who said that Nasser had hurled verbal abuses as he kicked them during the anti-regime protests that kicked off in 2011.

Sheikh Nasser, one of six sons to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain, had publicly called for "a wall to fall on the heads" of all those who peacefully demonstrated against the Al-Khalifa regime.

He also headed a committee that arrested, imprisoned and tortured 150 sportsmen and sports officials, including a disabled athlete, with some prisoners saying they were personally beaten by Sheikh Nasser himself.

Furthermore, when Mohammed Hubail, Bahrain's national football team player, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, Sheikh Nasser tweeted, "If it was up to me, I'd give them all life.”

The report also quoted Denis MacShane, British Labour MP, expressing earlier this week, "We are still exporting arms to Bahrain, where the death toll mounts, the numbers in prison grow and the torture continues. I am curious to know whether the Minister has any moral qualms about that.”

However, in response, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Gerald Howarth, from the Conservative party, replied, "… we have one of the most stringent arms export control arrangements in the world, and we look very carefully at these matters. I should add that Bahrain has been an extremely important friend and ally to both the United Kingdom and the United States.”

Earlier on May, human rights activists launched an international petition on Avaaz, the online campaigning group for change, aiming to secure 10,000 signatures in order to prevent Sheikh Nasser's entry to the UK for the Olympics and declare it as "undesirable".

Meanwhile, on June, the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) called on the British government to prevent Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa, from attending the 2012 London Olympic Games, due to his involvement in serious human rights violations.

The ECCHR campaign, a Berlin-based group, said the Bahraini king's son could be held criminally liable based on international human rights law standards, urging the UK government to ensure that the case is "not subjected to politically-driven double standards".

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