Statement by Lord Avebury on the refusal of visa to Mr al-Maskati, President of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, to attend a seminar on human rights and democracy in Bahrain, helf under my chairmanship in the House of Lords on Thursday December 18.
On December 14 I learned that Mr al-Maskati had been told more than once by the British Consulate in Manama that his application for a visa to attend and speak at the seminar being held under my chairmanship at the House of Lords on December 18 was still being processed, and since there were only a few days left for him to make his travel arrangements I emailed a senior official in the Consulate as follows:
May I please ask for your help with the application for a visa by Mr Mohammed al-Masqati of Bahrain Youth for Human Rights, who is an invited speaker at a seminar on Bahrain that I’m chairing in the Moses Room, House of Lords, on Thursday? He has attended the Consulate but has been told that his application is still under consideration, and I’m getting anxious, as tomorrow is the last working day in Manama before our seminar.
If you would kindly email me in the morning, I hope to say that the visa is being granted, it would be helpful.
On receiving an automatic ‘Out of office’ reply saying the official would be away until December 29 and giving an alternate email address, I forwarded the original email to the suggested address with a covering note as follows:
I had an ‘out of office’ reply to this email, and since the matter is indeed urgent, I would be grateful if you would email me in the morning.