x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Call to protect Bahrain Embassy in London during rooftop protest

Bahrain's foreign ministry urged Britain to protect its embassy in London as a rooftop protest against the kingdom's rulers stretched into its second day.

LONDON // Bahrain's foreign ministry urged Britain to protect its embassy in London as a rooftop protest against the kingdom's rulers stretched into its second day.

Scotland Yard said the two activists who climbed to the top of the Bahraini Embassy remained on the building yesterday, a chilly, rainy day in the British capital.

A banner draped over the building carried pictures of the hunger striking human-rights activist, Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, and the senior Shiite opposition leader, Hassan Mushaima, both of whom were sentenced to life in prison in Bahrain following last year's pro-democracy protests there.

The BBC identified the protesters as Mushaima's son, Ali, and Moosa Satrawi, 30.

"I'm not going down until I hear Mr Al Khawaja call me or Mr Mushaima," Mr Satrawi said. "Otherwise I will jump myself from the roof."

Authorities have said they had deployed ambulances to London's Belgrave Square, home to several major embassies.

Bahrain's foreign ministry called on Britain to provide the "necessary protection for the embassy premises and its diplomats", and urged it to take legal action against the two protesters.

Meanwhile in Brussels, the EU foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, called on Bahrain to save Al Khawaja whose health is now "a matter of the utmost urgency".

"The EU urges in the strongest possible terms the Bahraini authorities to find a compassionate, pragmatic and humanitarian solution ... as a matter of the utmost urgency," she said.

* Associated Press with additional reporting by Agence France-Presse