On London’s first hot weekend of the year a group of activists chose to spend their morning outside a Land Rover showroom in Mayfair. Their goal? To highlight Land Rover’s support of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which takes place on 12th May and brings together the UK royal family with dictator King Hamad of Bahrain.
Under King Hamad’s rule, the Bahraini government has committed countless human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch has described Bahrain’s record on human rights as “abysmal”. The use of torture remains widespread, and over 570 people have been stripped of their citizenship. In May 2017, five people were killed by security forces after attending a peaceful sit in protest, including one 17 year old. In March last year, Ali Mohamed Hakeem al-Arab reported that he was tortured throughout 26 days of interrogation, including by having his toenails pulled out, being subjected to electric shocks and beatings, and being forced to sign a “confession.”
All this is swept under the carpet next week, with the same dictator being invited to share the royal box in Windsor, in a blatant effort to whitewash his heinous actions. In sponsoring the show, Land Rover make themselves complicit in human rights abuse. London Campaign Against Arms Trade are calling on Land Rover to end their sponsorship of the show or use their influence to get King Hamad removed from the guest list.
To bring this message home to Land Rover, a group of London CAAT members popped into the Mayfair Land Rover showroom and covered the windows of the cars inside with messages highlighting the company’s complicity in human rights abuse in Bahrain. After being asked to leave, they carried on the protest outside the shop…
On 12th May, when King Hamad is expected to present the King’s Cup at the horse show, there will be a mass protest outside the venue. Meet at Paddington station at 11.45 – more details on the Facebook event.
Sign our petition asking the Queen not to host King Hamad.