15 February 2012 — Bahrain crackdown: Tactics & weapons imported from UK — RT
Pictures of a crackdown by heavily armed police on protesters in Bahrain appear to be similar to many others during the Arab Spring. This time the weapons, as well as the tactics, have been imported from the UK.
Activists trying to mark the anniversary of the pro-democracy uprising in Bahrain were dispersed with tear gas and stun grenades – exactly like it was done with the first anti-government protests one year ago.
Last year former Assistant Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan police John Yates was hired by Bahrain monarchy to reform the police as part of the regime’s PR campaign to clean up its image.
Yates resigned from Scotland Yard, an early victim of the phone-hacking scandal and popped up in Bahrain in December.
Being asked to comment on the uprising in Bahrain, John Yates told the Daily Telegraph ‘This isn’t organized protests, it’s just vandalism, rioting on the streets.’
London’s Bahraini community hotly disputed such claims. ‘When you got thousands and thousands protesting and demanding their rights, do you call that vandalism?’ activist Shehab Hashem, told RT.
On top of that, it may not just be the British tactics Bahrain is using, but weapons too. Government figures show the UK sold over one million pounds worth of rifles and artillery to Bahrain from July to September last year – long after the bloody riots. That is despite insisting all licenses had been revoked.
RT’s Ivor Bennett found out that the promised reforms have not gone far enough as police in Bahrain continue to use tear gas and armoured cars in their efforts to quell protest.