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Southend Amnesty hosted a group of Bahraini guests at our monthly meeting where we learned of some of the problems faced by Bahraini nationals following "Arab Spring" demonstrations in 2011. We were told how ordinary Bahrainis have been harassed and tortured just for peaceful protest, how sopisticated surveillance equipment is used to monitor Bahraini society without any civil regulation or oversight, how UN agencies are denied entry into the country to monitor human rights violations taking place there. Most notably we were told how the UK government is arming the regime responsible for these abuses and effectively colluding with the Bahraini authorities in the repression of its people, and we were urged to lobby our MPs for a change in UK government policy to one that recognises the consequencies of our arms trade and places human rights at the centre of foreign policy. Before leaving our Bahraini guests posed for a photograph with Southend Amnesty group members and we wished them well for the future and luck in their fight for justice.

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