The Appalling Renaming of Mons Hall, Sandhurst

Discussion in 'Regiment Histories' started by APPG, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. APPG

    APPG New Member

    A letter has been sent to General Major Tim Evans, Commandant of Sandhurst, regarding concerns over the King of Bahrain’s associations with the Foundation and the renaming of Mons Hall. Below is a brief outline of the contents of the letter.

    With regard to the recent decision to rename Mons Hall at the Sandhurst Academy to The King Hamad Hall because of donations in excess of £3 million. Hamad AlKhalifa is a dictator who is responsible for the torturing and deaths of pro-democracy protesters and the mass persecution of the people of Bahrain because of their desire for freedom and democracy as part of the Arab Spring. To name a sports hall after him would be an insult to the memory of those who fought for freedom and democracy in World War I, the UK and the people of Bahrain. This is particularly poignant to those who gave their lives at this particular battle in Belgium in 1914 and their relatives, considering the 100th anniversary will be next year. Hamad AlKhalifa is also the patron of the Sandhurst Foundation and is using money as a smoke screen for his lack of a worthy profile.

    All Party Parliamentary Group for Democracy in Bahrain

    Major General Tim Evans CBE DSO
    Sandhurst Foundation
    Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

    20th March 2013

    Dear Major General Evans,

    We are concerned over the King of Bahrain’s associations with the Sandhurst Foundation.

    The Sandhurst Foundation is a respected and renowned institution with a global reputation. As such, we hope you will reconsider the Foundation’s relationship with King Hamid Al Khalifa of Bahrain and the damage being done to the Sandhurst Foundation through this link.

    As you know, the past year has seen a series of tumultuous events in the Arab world. The majority of people in Bahrain have come together to speak with one voice for the human rights that this country has been proud to defend abroad for over 200 years. Yet rather than listen to the just complaints of the people, the Government has responded with a violent crackdown.

    We respectfully suggest that it is inappropriate and incongruous for the King of Bahrain to be a patron of the Sandhurst Foundation, considering that he and his family control a regime which

    • is accused of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
    • has presided over the deaths of 88 people since the start of the pro-democracy uprising.
    • has seen people tortured and summarily sentenced by military courts - some even sentenced to death or life imprisonment. Carried out “deliberate” and “systematic” torture against many of the people it arrested
    • has ordered 2,929+ cases of arbitrary arrest
    • has a reported 1,866+ cases of torture and ill treatment
    • has 500 prisoners of conscience
    • has a 23-year-old man on death row (execution in Bahrain is carried out by a firing squad)
    • uses its security forces to stand watch over hospitals while medical personnel and people are denied medical treatment. At least 50 doctors have been expelled, imprisoned and summarily tried in military courts.
    • has destroyed at least 57 places of worship
    • undertook 4,439+ summary sackings and 534 students were expelled from university
    • exiled 500 people

    With regard to the renaming of Mons Hall, it would seem inappropriate to change the name from a place where British men gave their life for freedom and democracy to name it after the King of Bahrain who denies his people those very rights. I would urge you to reassess the decision to rename the Mons Hall and assess whether this would be an appropriate move in the view of the British public.

    We therefore suggest that you conduct a review of the Foundation’s links with the King of Bahrain, with a view to ensuring that your own reputation is not adversely affected by the connection with the unacceptable practices of this hereditary dictatorship.

    Yours sincerely,

    Andy Slaughter, MP, Chair

    The APPG for Democracy in Bahrain:

    APPG Members

    Rushanara Ali, MP
    David Amess, MP, Vice Chair
    Lord Avebury
    Tom Brake, MP
    Guto Bebb, MP
    Katy Clark, MP
    Ann Clwyd, MP
    Jeremy Corbyn, MP
    Baroness Falkner
    Kate Green, MP
    Shabana Mahmood, MP
    Michael Meacher, MP
    Patrick Mercer, MP
    Matthew Offord, MP
    Eric Ollerenshaw, MP
    Yasmin Quereshi, MP
    Margaret Ritchie, MP
    Andy Slaughter, MP, Chair
    Baroness Tonge
    Paul Uppal, MP

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