Col Ian Henderson was a British military officer employed by the Bahraini ruling family as a chief of police. He was said to have overseen the torture of numerous Bahrainis who were arrested for anti-government activities. Eric tried hard to bring him to justice, but was always blocked by the British government, who were embarrassed by the situation. Labour MP Ken Purchase defended his reluctance to bring Henderson to trial by calling Eric the ‘self appointed guardian of the world’s human rights agenda’ with ‘extremist views’.
A paper written for the Gulf Cultural Centre on the prospects for democratic reform and human rights in the Gulf states, from March 13, 1995
This is the full text of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group’s publication of Lord Avebury’s correspondence with British and Bahraini government officials on the subject of human rights violations in Bahrain in the mid-90s.
The letters reveal the intransigence of both governments as they fail to take any serious steps to improve the human rights situation in Bahrain and show why such little progress has been made in the small but geostrategically important Gulf state.