Prince Charles has been accused of giving legitimacy to autocratic regime of Bahrain after signing a contract on behalf of his architecture group to advise Al Khalifa regime on housing and planning.
Earlier this month, the £700,000 contract was signed between Hank Dittmar, CEO of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community and Bahrain’s housing minister Basim Alhamer. Opposition activists, however, believe the contract gives a green light to Manama regime despite its clear and blatant violations of human rights. Graham Smith, chief executive of Britain's anti-monarchy campaign group Republic said "Prince Charles should be ashamed”. "By orchestrating this immoral deal he is giving legitimacy to one of the world's most repressive regimes. The deal is already being used for PR purposes by the Bahraini royal family, helping to deflect attention from the human suffering and repression they're inflicting on their own people,” he added. The UK government is considered as one of the most supportive of the Al Khalifa monarchy and it has licensed nearly £13 million worth of weapons to Bahraini regime between 2008 and 2012. The Bahraini uprising began in mid-February 2011, when the people started holding massive demonstrations against the Al Khalifa regime, which promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states to help quash the revolt. Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds including doctors and nurses.