Bahraini students studying at British universities have been forced to sign a pledge of allegiance to the King of Bahrain, and promise that they will not take part in any protests against the regime.
It follows months of harassment of the students. Some have had their funding withdrawn after attending pro-democracy protests in Britain.
The students are officially members of the University of Bahrain, but study in Britain.
The Bahraini state has crushed dissent. Thousands have been killed, arrested, imprisoned and sacked.
The document states, “My full allegiance is with the leadership of the Kingdom... represented in His Majesty The King Hamad Bin Essa Al Khalifa, the King of the country may God guard and bless him and the wise government.”
It goes on to say, “I pledge not to organise or participate in any event or activity that is not permitted or does not solely relate to the students or to their academic interests, inside or outside of the university campus, events and activities that would harm the reputation of The Kingdom of Bahrain domestically or internationally.”
A Bahraini living in Britain told Socialist Worker, “Students’ parents have been forced to sign the document too. The students feel like they have to sign—they are scared.
“The mainstream media isn’t writing about Bahrain. People need to know that the government is silencing protesters. When people protest, the police shut it down.”
The British government is complicit in this. They help to train the Saudi special forces called in by the king of Bahrain to clamp down on the protests. And in May this year David Cameron invited Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, a prince in Bahrain’s ruling royal family, to Downing Street.
Bahrain and the Arab Spring conference, Saturday 18 June 10.30am to 4.30pm, Manchester. Go to http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1782648951/efbnen