Two years of revolution: Bahrain’s uprising and Britain’s position

Talk Thursday 14 February 2013, 7:00 PM

This event is organised by Bahrain Pro-Democracy Group in UK and Sayed Alwadaei, political activist in UK.

It is the longest and most peaceful revolution, yet the least covered by the Western media. When the youth of the Gulf island of Bahrain decided to join the Arab Spring on 14 February 2011 they were responding to the call for change that had resonated in the corners of the Arab world. Two years later, they have remained faithful to their revolutions, slogans and human values.

Their daily protests have continued against all the odds, including the political and security support by some Western governments to the antiquated Alkhalifa regime. While the British media was supportive of Bahrain’s pro-democracy protests the UK Government was less enthusiastic towards change in the political structure of a monarchy found guilty of “systematic torture” by its own commission of investigation.

These issues will be debated at a special seminar to coincide with the second anniversary of Bahrain’s 14 February Revolution. A film report highlighting the British role in Bahrain will also be shown.

Chaired by Mark McDonald, a human rights barrister and the director and principle founder of the London Innocence Project. He has lectured extensively on US death penalty litigation and constitutional law. He is the founder of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East.

The Panel:

Dr Ala’a Shehabi, a Bahraini researcher and writer, and founding member of Bahrain Watch, an advocacy group campaigning for transparency and accountability in Bahrain.  She is currently an ACSS research fellow and has a PhD in economics from Imperial College London.

Farida Ghulam, a member of the Board of National Democratic Action Society “WAAD”. She is active within the women’s movement and plays a leading role in the political affairs in Bahrain. She is also the wife of the liberal secular left opposition figure and president of WAAD, Ibrahim Sharif, whose 5 years prison sentence in a military court has been upheld twice on appeal.

John Lubbock, a research and advocacy officer for the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights in London. He has a Masters in international politics and human rights from City University, London.

Mike Diboll, currently researching the cultural, generational and social transformation of the GCC region with a focus on higher education. He was professor of Comparative Literature at UAEU 2002-2007, University of Bahrain 2007-2009, Academic Head of CPD, Bahrain Teachers College 2009-2011.

Craig Murray, an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.