The jokey exchanges came as a human rights charity released a new report showing death sentences in the tiny Gulf state have risen by over 600 per cent in the last decade, with 51 people currently on Death Row.
Reprieve said torture was ‘endemic’ in Bahrain with prisoners put to death for ‘terrorism-related’ offences claiming they had been beaten and tortured to extract confessions.
Of the 51 people sentenced to death in Bahrain since 2011, at least 31 were convicted on terrorism-related charges. Of these, 20 allege torture.
Some 12 of the 26 people (46 per cent) facing imminent execution in Bahrain were convicted of terrorism-related offences, eleven of whom say they were tortured, and three of whom say they were convicted on the basis of a false torture confession.
Jeed Basyouni, of Reprieve’s Middle East and North Africa team, said: “The Prime Minister surely knows that the Bahraini authorities beat, torture and sentence political prisoners to death – his own MPs have told him so, many times.
‘So to see him laughing and joking with the Crown Prince is truly sickening. How much longer will the UK Government provide apparently unconditional support to a regime that executes people for the ‘crime’ of speaking out?”
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