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Page last updated at 10:28 GMT, Wednesday, 21 November 2012

'Concerns' over Bahrain weapons

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The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the authorities in Bahrain of making a mockery of their promises on reform and calls on Britain and the US to condemn the government there for human rights violations.

The British government, however, continues to do business with the Gulf state. Last month Britain signed an agreement with Bahrain to provide it with military and security assistance, but no press release announced it and David Cameron made little mention of it on his recent visit to the Gulf.

The Ministry of Defence describes it as a continuation of an existing relationship which will help provide security to a critically important region.

But Bahraini opposition spokesmen claim the agreement has encouraged the government of Bahrain to extend its crackdown on the pro-democracy movement.

Jane Kinnimont, a senior research fellow on the Middle East for Chatham House said: "It's not clear to what extent this agreement will really deepen military cooperation between the UK and Bahrain.

"The uprising in Bahrain hasn't finished, things look likely to go from bad to worse, and there'll be a lot of concerns about exactly what sort of weapons have been supplied, and how they're going to be used."

Andrew Hosken reports for the Today programme.


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