UK fails to release ‘Butcher of Bahrain’ cable

A British court has ruled against the release of a 1977 cable between the government and a ruthless British military officer in charge of police in Bahrain.

Human rights activists have lost their battle at Britain’s Information Rights Tribunal to force the government to release a 38-year-old diplomatic cable that could shed light on the UK’s relationship with the authoritarian regime in Bahrain, the Independent reported Sunday.

The ruling came as the king of the Persian Gulf state came to Britain this weekend to attend the Royal Windsor Horse Show, a sign of continuing good relations between the UK and Bahrain, where the Royal Navy is building a major new military base.

In a ruling that disappointed campaigners, an information tribunal has ruled that there should be only a partial disclosure of the contents of the cable from 1977, detailing conversations between British officials and Ian Henderson, a British military officer who ran the police in the Persian Gulf monarchy for 30 years and was dubbed the “Butcher of Bahrain.”

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