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Trump to meet Bahrain, Libyan figureheads for 'stability' discussions

US President Donald Trump will soon meet Libyan and Bahraini figureheads [AFP]

Date of publication: 30 November, 2017

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The White House says Trump will meet with Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Thursday and meet Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj the following day.
US President Donald Trump plans to hold talks this week with leaders from Bahrain and Libya according to a White House statement on Thursday.

The White House says Trump will meet with Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Thursday. The crown prince began his visit to Washington this week and already met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday.

Trump also plans to meet Friday with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj. The White House says the leaders will discuss reaffirming US support for Libya's unity government and help stabilising the country.

There is no mention on whether Trump will discuss the human rights situation in both Bahrain and Libya with the two officials.

Slavery in Libya

The Libyan government has come under fire worldwide after footage of black Africans being sold as slaves was released by CNN earlier this month.

The report showing migrants being auctioned off in Libya was shared widely on social media, provoking outrage in Africa, Europe and the rest of the world.

The grainy footage shot on a mobile telephone shows a Nigerian man in his 20s being offered up for sale as part of a group of "big strong boys for farm work".

In the report, a person identified as an auctioneer can be heard saying "800... 900... 1,000... 1,100..." before two men are sold for 1,200 Libyan dinars ($875).

Bahrain’s crackdown on dissent

Bahrain's Shia majority and others demonstrated in 2011 to ask the island's Sunni rulers for more political freedoms. Bahrain put down the protests with the help of Saudi and Emirati forces.

Authorities have since tightened their grip on dissent, jailing hundreds of protesters and stripping a string of high-profile activists and clerics of citizenship. Some activists have escaped into exile while others have been imprisoned.

A prominent Shia cleric who has been under house arrest in Bahrain after having his citizenship stripped is seriously ill, activists said on Monday.

Sheikh Isa Qassim was visited by doctors at his home in Diraz on Sunday, a Bahraini town that’s been surrounded by police for over a year.

The 80-year-old Sheikh Isa “is in constant pain” and requires emergency surgery for a hernia, Sheikh Maytham al-Salman, another Shia cleric said.

Amnesty International has called on Manama to "immediately and unconditionally" release prisoners of conscience and halt reprisals against "peaceful critics and their relatives".

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