Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Human Rights

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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194. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the current situation in Bahrain; and if he plans to use Ireland’s position to work with the international community to push for the human rights violations there to be addressed. [18052/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Respect for human rights is an integral part of Ireland’s foreign policy and we consistently seek to raise our concerns on human rights issues through the most appropriate and effective channels.

The human rights situation in Bahrain remains a matter of serious concern. Although Bahrain has repeatedly stated its commitment to improving its human rights record and safeguarding human rights as enshrined in the Bahraini Constitution, we are concerned by ongoing instances of violations of fundamental freedoms, including violations of freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the targeting of human rights defenders.

Ireland has raised concerns on human rights in Bahrain in both bilateral contacts, as well as in relevant international fora, notably the UN Human Rights Council.

Ireland also engages on the issue of human rights in Bahrain through the European Union, including through the EU Delegation in Riyadh which is accredited to Bahrain. The most recent EU-Bahrain Human Rights Dialogue took place on 22 February and was chaired by the EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore. A number of issues of concern were raised with Bahrain at the forum, including rule of law, prison conditions, right to a fair trial, freedom of expression, freedom of association, death penalty, torture, and the impact of Covid-19 on the human rights situation.

Ireland will continue to monitor developments in Bahrain, and to call on the Bahraini Government to deliver on its stated commitment to make progress in relation to human rights.

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