Britons being flown out of Bahrain

 

Please see letter relating to this article published on 16 June 2011 from the Information Affairs Authority of Bahrain

Two charter planes are expected to fly British citizens out of strife-torn Bahrain today as the situation in the country continues to deteriorate.

The Foreign Office has urged people to leave the Gulf state on commercial airlines but is laying on extra flights for those who want to flee and cannot get a ticket elsewhere.

The evacuations from Bahrain to Dubai are due to take place today, with passengers being charged £260 for a seat on one of the charter flights.

The advice to leave comes as running battles were once again fought on Bahraini streets.

Soldiers and riot police used tear gas and armoured vehicles to clear protesters from Pearl Square, which has been the focus of demonstrations in capital Manama.

Prime Minister David Cameron has called on the King of Bahrain to end the violent suppression of street protests.

He spoke by phone to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and called for restraint from all sides in the stand-off.

Hamad has declared a state of emergency in the island kingdom after a month of demonstrations in which representatives of Bahrain's Shi'ite majority have called for the end of rule by its Sunni monarchy.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has also spoken with Bahraini Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa to express "serious concern" at the situation and urge restraint on all sides and the need for a return to law and order to enable genuine political reform.

Mr Hague said: "The UK remains seriously concerned about clashes with protesters and reports of several casualties.

"I call on all parties to engage in an open and constructive national dialogue, so that it is translated as soon as possible into tangible actions that respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Bahraini people."

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama urged the kings of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to show restraint in dealing with protesters.

There have been reports that at least two people were killed during the storming of the square, while local hospital officials said a third died later from gunshot wounds.

Bahrain state TV also reported that two policemen died when they were hit by a vehicle.

Witnesses described helicopters firing on homes in a hunt for Shiites and attacking doctors treating the wounded, while the government called the demonstrators "outlaws" for demanding an end to the monarchy.

The imposition of martial rule followed the arrival of more than 1,000 troops, at the King's invitation, from neighbouring allies including Saudi Arabia.

In a statement the Foreign Office said: "We recommend those British nationals who do not have a pressing reason to remain to leave via Bahrain International Airport on March 17 by commercial means."

It added: "British nationals with commercial flight bookings should continue to use these flights and you should continue to make reservation and ticketing arrangements with your airline as usual.

"The UK Government is chartering planes to supplement commercially available options. These will be available to assist the departure of British nationals from Bahrain to Dubai on March 17."

An FCO spokeswoman added: "Each flight will have 160 seats available. We will assess the need for the number of flights based on demand.

"British Embassy staff will be on hand in Dubai to help people access commercial flights."

It is not known how many Britons are still in the country, but the FCO estimates there are several thousand at any one time.

Those wishing to leave on the Government flights are asked to call +44 20 7008 5900.

* Read the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Recruitment Genius: Estimator

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a major supplier of buil...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas