Britain welcomes Bahrain emergency rule move

2nd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain on Wednesday praised Bahrain's decision to lift emergency rule, but urged "concrete change and genuine political reform".

"We welcome the King's announcement of a National Dialogue and the lifting of the state of national safety," Alistair Burt, a minister in Britain's Foreign Office, said in a statement.

"It's now critical that there is concrete change and genuine political reform, the only way to ensuring long term stability," he added.

Around 30 people have died in protests which erupted in February.

Most of the deaths came after the royal family, drawn from the country's Sunni minority, invited troops from neighbouring Saudi Arabia to help deal with the unrest.

Despite the announcement regarding the end of emergency rule, security forces were Wednesday accused of using violence to halt an attempt by pro-reform protesters to stage new demonstrations.

"We remain deeply concerned by reports of human rights abuses, including the recent arrests of protesters and medical staff and the nature of the charges brought against them," Burt continued.

"We continue strongly to urge the government of Bahrain to meet all its human rights obligations and uphold political freedoms, equal access to justice and the rule of law," he added.

© 2011 AFP

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