Prince Charles's housing charity gets into bed with torturing Bahraini dictatorship

Prince Charles has joined with Formula One and CNN in supporting the torturing, murderous dictatorial regime in Bahrain. His Prince's Foundation for Building Community and the UK Foreign Office have signed a deal to advise the regime on housing policy, an area of particular contention (Bahrain's persecuted Shia minority majority are systematically discriminated against in the southern territory where Charles's project is sited; they say housing goes instead to imported guard labor from abroad).

News of the deal came as the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee heard warnings from the campaign group Human Rights Watch that the UK government has overplayed the progress of democracy in Bahrain and has underestimated the severity of human rights abuses.

"Credible allegations of torture have been made in the last month," David Mepham, UK director of HRW, told the Guardian. "The UK should be pressing the Bahrainis to investigate those abuses and hold those people to account."

Asked why it had chosen to work with a regime that has a poor human rights record, a spokesman for Prince Charles's charity said: "This project aims to help all the communities that live in Bahrain and is in line with the objectives of the British government. The homes will be for local communities who will be consulted during the design process."

Prince Charles criticised over Bahrain housing deal [Robert Booth/The Guardian]