The British government of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to be held accountable on Monday for its role in the Bahraini government’s alleged spying on two of its citizens residing in Britain. Kenny MacAskill, an MP in the House of Commons, will be asking the government about the steps it is taking to protect British citizens and residents from cyber attacks and spying by the Bahraini government.
The Supreme Court of the UK recently rejected Bahrain’s claim of state immunity in the lawsuit brought against it by Bahraini dissidents Saeed Al-Shihabi and Musa Mohammed. The two activists, who are residing in Britain, allege that the Bahraini government hacked their computers and installed spyware on them in 2011, which allowed the government to view their contacts with political prisoners in Bahrain.
The Bahraini government had argued that the alleged breach of the law did not take place in Britain and the psychological damages claimed by the activists did not reach the level of personal injuries excluded from state immunity. However, the High Court Judge Julian Knoller did not accept this argument, which means that the case can be pursued in Britain.
Upon the Supreme Court’s ruling, a Bahraini government spokesman expressed disappointment and announced plans to appeal the decision. Bahrain has been criticized for its human rights record, with international organizations calling for the release of political prisoners. As such, the British government’s role in this matter is of utmost importance, and it will be held accountable in the upcoming hearing.