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Hunger striking political prisoner urges Britain to stop training Bahrain’s security forces

BAHRAIN hunger striker has written to the British Foreign Office calling for an end to training that is contributing to the Gulf state’s human rights violations.

Hundreds of political prisoners in the Jau Prison have been on hunger strike since August 15.

Amoung the number includes Ali al-Hajee, who wrote to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and British ambassador to Bahrain Roderick Drummond last week to expose the inhumane conditions they face.

Mr Hajee says he is one of thousands of political prisoners who suffer from severe physical and psychological abuse.

He also suffers from the effects of medical negligence and a policy of collective punishment implemented by the prison administration.

He was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in 2013 after he allegedly was tortured into confession and subjected to an unfair trial.

Mr Hajee is currently suffering from severe medical conditions and has been prevented from seeing his family since February 2017.

Jau prison boss Brigadier Abdulsalam al-Arifi was invited to visit British prisons and “develop rehabilitation programmes” earlier this year.

Mr Hajee wrote: “The Bahraini authorities are using the training to maintain a facade of legitimacy and accountability before the international community.

“The UK government’s unconditional political support and training only embolden the Bahraini authorities to continue abusing its citizens without fear of repercussion.

“The UK cannot become complicit in these abuses or accept to be used as a political tool by dictators.”

Mr Hajee warned Mr Raab and Mr Drummond that the government had a “moral responsibility” to intervene when the “ineffective institutions trained with British funding are directly responsible for whitewashing crimes.”

The Foreign Office did not respond to the Star’s request for comment at the time of publication.

In answer to a written question on the issue last month, Lord Ahmed said: “Any training provided by or on behalf of the British government complies with our domestic and international human rights obligations.”

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