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GDN Reader's View: London lunacy

Abu Mohammed

A friend of mine who recently returned from vacation informed me about his observation of the so-called sit-in protests at the Bahrain Embassy in London.

He told me the embassy had become an eyesore for passers-by and visitors alike.

Particularly at night, as protesters sleep on the side road adjacent to the embassy as if they were camping, adorned with sleeping bags of various colours and sizes.

The attention-grabbing act is nothing more than a mere drama exaggerating the situation of Hassan Mushaima, who is currently serving sentence in Bahrain.

However, it can be observed from recent history that the Bahrain Embassy in London is not new to protests.

They have happened on February 29, 2011 and again on April 17, 2012, better known as the rooftop protest where the same person leading the protest now managed to mount the roof of the embassy and shout anti-government rhetoric.

Then we had protests on July 30, 2015; November 21, 2017; and on January 20, 2017.

Recently, protesters attempted to stop a British legislator, who had a meeting with the Bahrain Ambassador to Britain, entering the embassy.

While protesting is a right, some of them went beyond what is acceptable to the point of harassing anybody wishing to visit the embassy.

They are obstructing the right of individuals to visit the embassy, which is a gross violation of international rules governing embassy security and sovereignty.

This brings us to a question that needs an urgent response: What are the British police doing while protesters occupy entrances to the embassy and harass anyone visiting the premises?

Would the same action be tolerated at other embassies, say the US or German Embassy?

If you see those embassies, even decent people wishing to visit the premises must wait at a distance from the entrance.

So what is going on in London?

Bahrain has embassy representations in most of the Western world, but only in London do we observe protests.

Why not in Washington or Paris?

The bottom line is that protesters shouldn’t interfere with the regular job of the embassy.

Ensuring the smooth day-to-day operations of the embassy is the responsibility of the British police and the associated security apparatus.

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