Volume. 12196

Protest over Bahrain king's royal invite
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_bahrain99.jpgLONDON (Agencies) -- A group of Bahrainis who now live in London protested outside the Bahrain embassy in London over the presence of their king at the Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee lunch for foreign royals at Windsor Castle.
The king of Bahrain, whose regime has been accused of rights abuses, was among nearly 50 foreign royals at a lunch on Friday to mark the diamond jubilee of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
The protesters called King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa the "Butcher of Bahrain".
They held up banners and placards depicting blood running from the mouth of the King alongside photographs of Bahrainis who have been badly beaten, Aljazeera reported.
The protesters said they could not understand why Buckingham Palace included Hamad on Queen Elizabeth's guest list the jubilee lunch.
"It's very strange that the United Kingdom has invited such a dictator after all his crimes in Bahrain, to be part of a lunch with the Queen. We believe he should not be invited,” said Ali al-Fayez, who described himself as a political activist who has been living in the UK for the past year.
"He should be behind bars; he should be on the wanted list of the United Kingdom, not invited to Buckingham Palace."
Meanwhile about 50 people staged a protest against what they called “dictator monarchs” outside Buckingham Palace in London.
“We feel it’s tremendously important to show that there are British people who do not agree with these royal dictators being invited to Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace,” human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told AFP.
“The queen has misjudged the public mood. Most British people would not agree with our head of state wining and dining dictators who stand accused of very serious human rights abuse.” Demonstrators chanted and held banners reading: “Shame on you Liz Windsor,” and “Democracy now for Swaziland”.
Bahrain is gripped by civil unrest following a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests. The Bahraini government stands accused of human-rights abuses during months of protests by the majority population against the ruling Al Khalifa family.

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Last Updated on 19 May 2012 17:09