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Bahraini Prince Declines Royal Wedding Invitation As Crackdown on Protesters Goes On (VIDEO)

Bahraini Prince Declines Royal Wedding Invitation As Crackdown on Protesters Goes On (VIDEO)

At least one of the 1900 guests or so invited to the April 29th wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton says he won’t be coming: Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain, has sent his regrets to Prince Charles due to the continuing unrest in the Gulf State kingdom, Al-Jazeera reports.

The prince was one of more than 40 foreign monarchs (and a few dictators) to be invited to the royal wedding. As Al-Jazeera says, “The annoucement came as Bahrain’s state media reported that a military prosecutor has called for seven anti-government protesters to be given the death penalty.” The protesters are accused of killing two policemen; their lawyers has denied the charges. A hearing is set for this upcoming Thursday.

The protests began in mid-February in Bahrain and at least 30 have died. Bahrain’s rulers have imposed martial law on the country and called in Saudi troops to put down the uprising. 

Human rights activists including Abdulhadi Alkhawaja have been beaten and imprisoned. Alkhawaja’s daughter, Zainab, went on a hunger strike to demand her father’s release and that of her husband and brother-in-law after they were seized over two weeks ago. As the Guardian reports, Zainab Alkhawaja ended her hunger strike last week after she was convinced that “‘being silent in a tomb and not able to speak is not in the interests of my family.’” Last Wednesday, her family received phone calls from authorities that the three men are alive; the family has been asked to bring essentials such as clothes to a military court for her father and the others.

According to the New York Times, “campaigners in Britain complained when palace officials said Saturday that the prince was attending the nuptials, and some petitioned Foreign Secretary William Hague to revoke the invitation.” Prince Salman said that he was “‘saddened and troubled’” by such reports and said that such reports

“…fundamentally misrepresented my own views, outlook and position on recent events and thus, clearly sought to involve my potential attendance as a political proxy for wider matters involving Bahrain.”

Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, told Al-Jazeera that people in Bahrain expected Britain to take a firm position about not inviting those “accused of grievous human-rights abuses” to a celebration such as the royal wedding:

“Calling our crown prince at a time when people are being killed … for demanding their political rights and peacefully protesting, is extremely disappointing,” he said in a phone interview.

“They’re losing the hearts and minds of the people in this region.”

Many doctors, nurses, surgeons, ambulance drivers and other medical personnel have been arrested or are missing in Bahrain, says the New York Times, an indication that the country’s health-care system is “drawn into Bahrain’s confrontation with pro-democracy campaigners.”

The video below shows protesters in Bahrain’s capital of Manama clashing with police near the offices and compound of Bahrain’s ruling family.


Please sign the petition to free Abdulhadi Alkhawaja.


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5:32AM PDT on Apr 26, 2011

Having seen the movie Wills & Kate he may of just dodged a bullet there. In sheer awfulness it makes Santa Claus conquers the Martians seem to have some acting. Still looking at the guest list, you would be hard pressed to find a congregration of numpties going to it. I suppose even he couldn't bear being in the same room as the Beckhams.

7:17PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

The current crisis in the Middle East had been fermenting for sometime already. Iran had its share of spoils after the overthrowing of the Shahs but unfortunately, its now bedridden with theocracy and authoritarian rule. Middle East is a very delicate complex. Before the colonial rule, Arabs and Jews are tribes scattered all over the sands of Iran to Western Sahara. Over the years tribal communities were conquered or united to form Kingdoms and some Kingdoms have become a Republic like Iran and Syria. The Jasmine Revolution was triggered by professionals, Arab overseas students, students in local institutions, workers who are aggrieved with their working conditions, etc. and this group basically said "enough is enough." Long serving politicians have enough fun and dilapidating the people's resources. Time for them to move on. Now, if there is Jasmine Revolution, what are the odds of everyone's intentions here? I am sure the Prince's statements would not be published in the media and nobody on this blog even knows who the heck is Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Only Bahrain and the Arabs (in the Middle East) have knowledge of this personality. What's the difference then and now? Then, err nothing happened (perhaps not published in the media)...and now protesters are being sidelined are becoming a death statistic. Why now and not in the past then we had been more aware about this Prince? Well... because someone is dying as published in the media!

6:59PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

Another costly puppet show to entertain the masses, empty charade... who cares for the fake and revolting display of a monarchy!

6:27PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

Thanks for the article.

2:26PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

You Suck as a man or whatever you are. Eat shit and die!!

1:37PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

I agree with you AbdulAziz, shame on them for inviting dictators, and sending a clear message about where they stand.
I just think monarchy should be abolished. They're useless, and are taking too much money to be supported.
It's a thing of the past. Give them the boot!

1:15PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

His choice. I wouldn't go either if invited.

12:22PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

Considering all the turmoil taking place in that part of the world right now, skipping off to any type of social or leisure event would be inappropriate.

11:31AM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

Bahrain is in the middle of political turmoil and is highly upset with Britain and the United States right now for not coming to their aid. I don't blame Bahrain for declining the invitation.

8:16AM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

I found this as to why the Obamas weren't invited...

"Don't expect to see the Presidential family at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011. The Obama's did not receive an invitation!
The reason behind the snub? According to a source that spoke to UK's The Daily Mail, since William is not the heir to the throne, the wedding will not be considered a "state occasion." Which means that the soon-to-be newlyweds won't be required to include heads of states on the guest list."
I guess only dictators and the like qualify.
My name used to be Sharon Middleton until I got divorced. I wonder if I had stayed married if I would have gotten one? (grins!)

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