Transparency International UK: In Whose Interest?, Analyzing How Corrupt and Repressive Governments seek influence and Legitimacy
Transparency International UK published a report, “In Whose Interest? “ , that talks about corruption and repression in the government of 3 different countries (Azerbaijan, Russia and Bahrain) and how this corruption is affecting the whole country, in addition to measuring the legitimacy of these acts with UK parliamentarians. Mainly when talking about Bahrain, the report included the strong relation between the UK and Bahrain that goes long back to the nineteenth century.
The report mentioned that although Bahrain has a partly-elected National Assembly, the king of Bahrain rules by monarchy. It also showed how the peaceful protests started in 2011 to demand the political, social and economic human rights. The report showed that the Bahraini government responded to these protests with violence since it suppressed the demonstrations and imprisoned the protestors with the help of Saudi Arabia and United Emirates military forces where 30 persons were killed, hundreds were imprisoned and independent newspapers were shut down.
The report mentioned that in 2017, the Bahraini government was continuing the suppression against the protestors and other acts that showed how bad the corruption became and how severe the violence was rising. Since the 90s, the budget of Bahrain was poor, and quarters of the countries revenues were transferred to the royal family where there was no audit to record the monetary transactions. When the government receives the funds, a proportion of the money is spent on defense and security expenditures where the exact amounts and information are not available to the public. According to an audit in 2015, Bahrain reached its highest stage of corruption by spending money on such forces. In addition, land ownership in Bahrain is mainly controlled by the royal family that owns billion-worth pieces of real estate; so the kingdom is spending around 28 billion pounds on real estate when Bahraini citizens are deprived from their rights to housing. After the protests, King Hamad appointed a panel of human rights experts to oversee the condition in Bahrain, and the result was 26 recommendations that the kingdom should adopt, yet only two were temporary applied and then were reversed.
The source added that UK parliamentarians were engaged with Bahrain by the Manama dialog, that observes the corruption and human rights abuses in a country, it was later realized that the Bahraini government was paying secretly for the event and that the government was paying for the trips of 19 parliamentarians since 2007. Alongside with the visits, some of the parliamentarians have provided advisory services directly to the King of Bahrain for almost 14 years.