Invitations should be withdrawn – Tyrants not welcome
London – 26 April 2011
“Although the Crown Prince of Bahrain will no longer attend the royal wedding on Friday, representatives of seven royal tyrants have been invited and will attend, including the Bahraini ambassador. The regime of Bahrain’s regal dictator has shot dead peaceful protesters and tortured others. He should never have been invited in the first place. His withdrawal only happened at the last minute, as a result of protests by human rights activists,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“It is deplorable that the Queen is still inviting royal dictators from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Swaziland, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei and Abu Dhabi. All seven royal families preside over severe human rights abuses, such as detention without trial, torture, the denial of free speech, restrictions on press freedom and the violent suppression of peaceful protests. All are backed by western governments, despite their appalling human rights records.
He was referring to the Queen’s guest list for the royal wedding on 29 April.
“The invitations are a massive misjudgement by the monarch. They show the Queen is out of touch with the humanitarian values of most British people. She’s putting royalty before human rights.
“The guest list displays a shocking insensitivity to the suffering of people who have been persecuted by these royal despots. It is an insult to the victims of dictatorship for our royal family to welcome and embrace these oppressors.
“The invitations should be withdrawn immediately, as a mark of respect for those who have been murdered, arrested, jailed and tortured.
“St James’s Palace claims the Queen invited eight dictators to the royal wedding with the agreement of the Foreign Office. This approval was presumably sanctioned by the Foreign Secretary, William Hague.
“William Hague should come clean about the advice he gave the Queen. If he did authorise wedding invitations to these eight royal tyrants, he has shown exceedingly poor judgement and has insulted the victims of royal repression. The British monarch and government should not be colluding with human rights abusers. We should be on the side of the victims,” added Mr Tatchell.
St James’s Palace has defended the wedding guest list, insisting that the Foreign Office had approved it. “Invitations are extended from the Queen following the long-held tradition of inviting other crowned heads of state; we have taken advice from the Foreign Office about their continued inclusion,” a spokesman said.
See the official royal wedding invitation list here: http://tiny.cc/rr1dk
Examples of human rights abuses by countries whose royal leaders have been invited to Prince William’s and Kate Middleton’s wedding on 29 April: