The UK’s secret military unit that answers to Saudi Arabian commanders

By Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis Declassified UK, 28 October 2019 The UK military has a team of high-ranking soldiers embedded in the Saudi Arabian armed forces who are believed to be taking their orders from Saudi commanders, it can be revealed. The British programme, details of which have long been kept secret from the […]

How the British establishment is working to keep Bahrain’s ruling family in power

By Mark Curtis and Matt Kennard Declassified UK, 17 October 2019 The British military and intelligence establishment is playing a key role in fortifying the repressive regime in Bahrain, it can be revealed. Influential British figures, including former senior UK military officers and the former MI6 controller for the Middle East, have been advising the […]

British government continues to aid repression in human rights-abusing countries, new data shows

by Mark Curtis and Matt Kennard Declassified UK, 20 September 2019 The British government is continuing to approve the export of hi-tech surveillance equipment and software of the type that is being used by states abusing human rights to monitor and repress dissent, new government figures show. The government’s exports of “telecommunications interception equipment” to […]

Bahrain: Declassified

Articles Ian Henderson/torture ‘Classified document on Bahrain rankles Britain decades later’ (Reuters, 21 May 2015) ‘Britain’s special relationship with Bahrain’ (Al-Bab, 18 May 2015) ‘Judge Orders Further Partial Release Of Henderson Files’ (Bahrain Watch, 17 May 2015) ‘Campaigners lose battle to release cable detailing historic UK relations with Bahrain’ (Independent, 17 May 2015) ‘Government refuses […]

The UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund: Diverting Aid and Undermining Human Rights

Report for Global Justice Now (December 2017) The UK government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) raises all kinds of questions about the future of UK aid, the nature of the UK’s relations with states abusing human rights and the government’s openness with the public. Established in 2015, the CSSF is a £1 billion annual […]

Why protests against Trump should be widened to change current UK foreign policy

by Mark Curtis I completely support the protests and opposition to Trump. At the same time, the British government in its foreign policy is now operating outside of any serious democratic control, and is: promoting covert wars in seven countries violating international law in several areas regularly lying to parliament on its actions deepening alliances […]

Bahrain – Siding with the Rulers

An edited extract from Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World by Mark Curtis Bahrain has provided a good test case for how seriously New Labour under Blair would address human rights abuses committed by traditional British allies. And whether it would be prepared to support opposition groups calling for greater political participation […]

Dreaming of Empire? UK Foreign Policy Post-Brexit

Report written by Mark Curtis for Global Justice Now. To read the PDF version go here. November 2016 Since the EU referendum on 23 June, many people have theorised on what the consequences for British foreign policy might be. Some have stressed the dangers, others the opportunities. Nearly six months on, a picture is gradually […]

Britain’s Seven Covert Wars

Published in the Huffington Post, 18 October 2016 by Mark Curtis Britain is fighting at least seven covert wars in the Middle East and North Africa, outside of any democratic oversight or control. Whitehall has in effect gone underground, with neither parliament nor the public being allowed to debate, scrutinise or even know about these […]

Britain’s Dangerous and Ignored Special Relationship With Oman

Published in the Huffington Post, 11 August 2016 Mark Curtis Outside significant mainstream media coverage, Britain is stepping up its support for the dictatorships in the Arabian Gulf and its ability to conduct military interventions in the Middle East. The strategy is illustrated in Whitehall’s long-standing but ignored special relationship Whitehall with Oman, the secretive, […]