GCC backs Bahrain, urges Britain to deport terror-supporting individuals

September 7, 2010
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Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ambassadors will convey a formal request to the British foreign secretary to deport terror-supporting individuals and not to grant them political asylum, Bahrain’s foreign minister has said.

“We agreed that the GCC ambassadors will as a group meet the British foreign secretary,” Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa told Bahrain TV on Tuesday. “We appreciate the GCC stance and we are deeply grateful,” he said, referring to the support expressed by the GCC foreign ministers to Bahrain at their meeting in Jeddah on Monday evening.

In a statement issued following the meeting of the foreign ministers of the six-member alliance, the GCC urged the international community, and particularly Britain, to take action against groups and people who support terrorism.

All countries should deny terror-supporting groups and individuals political alyssum and not allow them to abuse freedoms to undermine the security and stability of the GCC states, the ministers said.

The GCC issued the appeal after Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister, briefed his counterparts about the network’s structure, funding and goals, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said.

“I am grateful for the noble stance adopted by the ministers with their brothers in Bahrain,” Shaikh Khalid told Bahrain TV. “The GCC expressed full and robust support with Bahrain and welcomed all the measures taken by Manama regarding the dismantling of the network.”
Earlier, Shaikh Khalid, receiving ambassadors accredited in Bahrain, called for the deportation of individuals who supported terrorism and for not granting them asylum.

Two of the 23 suspects named by Bahrain in a “terror network plotting to overthrow the regime and destablise the country” are based in London.

Saeed Al Shihabi, from the Bahrain Freedom Movement, and Hassan Mshaima, from Haq Movement, were on Saturday named as among the ten leaders of the network.

However, Bahrain and Britain do not have a formal extradition agreement.

“The UK does not have a formal extradition agreement with Bahrain, under the Extradition Act of 2003,” a spokesperson for the Home Office in London told Gulf News on Tuesday. “Al Sheehabi and Mashaima are currently being tried in absentia as they both reside in London.”

The spokesperson said that the Home Office “does not confirm or deny whether an extradition request has been received” from Bahrain.

Last month, Yusuf Ahmad Wahid, a Lebanese national wanted in Britain for murdering a Canadian woman of Moroccan origin was arrested in Bahrain, but in the non-existence of a formal extradition agreement, his case had first to be referred to Bahrain’s Public Prosecution and to a Bahraini court.

On Tuesday, the public prosecutor said that 12 charges had been pressed against the suspects following investigations within legal time frames and that some of the suspects had confessed.

The prosecutor said that “justice will take its due course with full respect of the constitution and the law while rights will be preserved in line with international covenants signed by Bahrain.”

Side bar: Shaikh Khalid’s Twitter comments:

“No one will be arbitrarily arrested or unfairly treated.”

“It is time to get things corrected and rid our country of wanton violence. In today’s Bahrain, everyone is treated fairly with all rights protected in accordance with international standards. We are committed to our reforms. We are not looking back and will not allow anyone to disrupt the process. Why don’t these Bahrainis who feel disenfranchised use legitimate means to voice their concerns rather than plot against their own country?”

“They [those who promote or perpetrate acts of sabotage] are merely pawns in a larger game involving foreign hands that they do not understand.”

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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