Could a Corbyn Government Change UK Foreign Policy in Bahrain?

Phil Miller - 29 September 2018

While we all know about Jeremy Corbyn’s support for the Palestinian struggle, his progressive foreign policy positions do not end there. Many oppressed peoples are looking at Corbyn’s record of supporting their struggles and daring to dream about what could happen if he became UK Prime Minister. Corbyn gave us a taste at last year’s Labour Party Conference, when he said Britain “cannot be silent at the cruel Saudi war in Yemen, while continuing to supply arms to Saudi Arabia, or the crushing of democracy in Egypt or Bahrain”.

Bahrain is the smallest country in the Middle East, a tiny Gulf island. For Bahraini exiles living in the UK, Corbyn’s shout-out for their struggle was a big deal. To find out more about what Corbyn means to them, I went to the Bahrain Embassy in London and spoke to dissidents protesting on the pavement outside.

When I arrived, a tall, wizened man was perched on some wooden pallets and zipped up snugly inside a thick green hoody, framing his wispy brown beard. On this crystal-clear August night, Ali Mushaima’s body temperature was unusually low, but he welcomed me warmly. He had spent the last 25 days camped outside the Embassy on hunger strike, shedding 11 kilos. Ali was starving himself to highlight the case of his father, Hassan, who was jailed for life after leading the pro-democracy movement during Bahrain’s Arab Spring uprising in 2011. Hassan, now 70 and recovering from cancer, is struggling to access healthcare in prison in Bahrain, much to his son’s concern.... See more

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