Dissidents’ fury at Hammond’s 'secret' Bahrain visit

‘Bahraini dissidents, human rights activists and Labour have condemned Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond for secretly visiting the repressive Gulf state’s leaders on the same day that Bahrain extended the detention of its most prominent critic.

Amid attempts by the UK to sell BAE Typhoon fighter jets to Bahrain, a Western ally in the region, Mr Hammond paid what a Whitehall source described as a “courtesy call” to the Bahraini Crown Prince last Sunday. Nothing was said publicly about the trip at the time, although the Foreign Office has now confirmed it took place.

While Mr Hammond exchanged pleasantries with Prince Salman al-Khalifa, Nabeel Rajab was remanded in custody for a further two weeks on charges of spreading “false news” on Twitter.’

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