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DUP MP Donaldson sues human rights group over report on charity's Bahrain work

By Staff Reporter

Senior DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and his brother Kingsley are to sue a nonprofit organisation over criticisms of work undertaken by a peace-building charity with which they are associated.

Earlier this year, UK-based human rights organisation Reprieve published a report critical of the work of the Causeway Institute for Peace-Building and Conflict Resolution in the small Gulf state of Bahrain.

The Bahraini government has faced extensive criticism from non-governmental organisations in recent years over its human rights record.

Former Army officer Kingsley Donaldson is director of the Causeway Institute, and Sir Jeffrey chairs its advisory board. The Institute's work was supported by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Sir Jeffrey told the Sunday Times that the Reprieve report is "inaccurate, misleading and defamatory. I have initiated legal proceedings against the authors and against a number of media outlets who have reported upon it." Kingsley Donaldson also confirmed to the Sunday Times that he had begun legal action over the Reprieve report and associated media coverage.

A 2016 article on the Causeway Institute website discusses the institute's work in Bahrain, saying: "We are very proud of our friendships across the country in Bahrain, from people on all sides of the population, civil society groups, human rights defenders, policy makers and national institutions. Sharing the Northern Ireland experience in Bahrain has been a very worthwhile task and we have learned a significant amount from our Bahraini friends that we too can apply at home."

It's understood the brothers are being represented by Belfast libel lawyer Paul Tweed.

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