An investigation in UK parliament exposed a British university’s ties with a Bahraini academy charged with human rights violations. The case was highlighted after an appeal by a teenager who claimed his father, awaiting his death, is not guilty.
A study by the “All Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy and Human Rights” found that human rights auditors in Bahrain funded by Britain covered up torture accusations in the country. A one example, the 11-year boy’s father, Mohammed Ramadhan, faced conviction for trans-legal reasons.
Ahmed’s appeal, according to Yorkshire Post, insists his father is facing the death penalty “for a crime he didn’t commit.”
Earlier in 2021, pressures on the University of Huddersfield mounted over its continuation of a controversial master’s program. 40 members of parliaments from opposing parties targeted a program the university presently offers at Bahrain’s Royal Academy of Policing.
Several reports indicated the Bahraini Academy hosted a hub to torture political and administrative critics. The students educating at the academy have called for immediate termination of the course due to deplorable connections to torture.
“Having met personally with victims such as Ahmed Ramadhan, the 11-year-old son of Bahraini death row inmate, it is appalling to see efforts to put an end to violations obstructed by the UK government time and again,” part of the investigation report read.
“Ahmed’s father Mohammed could now be executed at any moment with little warning given to his wife and three children, despite the United Nations (UN) calling for his immediate release and compensation.”
The British high-rank official avoided commenting on the issue. The UK has long dealt with allegation regarding the facilitation of suppressive forces in Arabian states of the Persian Gulf. The Bahraini Academy’s role in torture hub in Bahrain may further exacerbate the accusations.
The Bahraini Academy
The result of investigation concluded that the Special Investigations Unit was critically defective and failed to satisfy minimal professional requirements. The British-funded unit was entrusted with investigating human rights violations.
Nonetheless, a Huddersfield spokesman justified the program, claiming that it was in accordance with the goals of the UK government. He further insisted that the designation of master’s degree aimed at assisting the equipment and modernization of Bahraini policing conducts and procedures.
A general manager at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy lambasted the British university’s policy in Neglecting the criticism. Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei says the university’s approach makes it a partner in the Bahraini Academy’s crimes against humanity.
“Despite the severity of the torture allegations against their business partner, the university management has chosen to bury their heads in the sand while continuing to profit from their toxic deal with Bahrain,” Alwadaei emphasized.
The program started three years ago after a visit of Prince Andrew, the former chairman of the university, to Bahrain. The program was an M.Sc on “Security Science” which initially aimed at bettering the policing and security condition of Bahrain.
Andrew, nevertheless, resigned from the position a year later amid increasing outrage over claims of sexual harassment and ties to the widely controversial Jeffrey Epstein. His successor, George W. Buckley, opted to neglect the criticisms over the university’s involvement in Bahraini academy’s torture practices.
Al Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain has a long history in crackdown against dissidents. Torturing the political opponents has been a recurrent practice since the dynasty took the rule over the country in 18th century.
The new report is indicative of the fact that Bahrain is seeking the modernize the crackdown tools. Scholarly and technological finding of the western universities may prove beneficial en route.