Thursday, 24 March 2022
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
96. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide details of Ireland's relationship with Saudi Arabia; if he has raised concerns about the recent execution of 81 persons there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15347/22]
110. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the Government has expressed concerns over human rights abuses to the Saudi Arabian Government following the mass execution of 81 Saudi and non-Saudi citizens; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15363/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 96 and 110 together.
Ireland is firmly opposed to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, and has consistently made our opposition clear to the Saudi authorities. When I visited Saudi Arabia last year, I raised a number of human rights concerns, including the continued use of the death penalty.
Officials from my Department have raised concerns over the execution of 81 people on 12 March directly with the Saudi authorities. The EU issued a statement setting out our deep concerns about these executions: Saudi Arabia: Statement by the High Representative on mass executions - European External Action Service (europa.eu)
Ireland welcomed the first EU-Saudi Arabia Human Rights Dialogue which was held in Brussels in September 2021 and chaired by the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore. A number of human rights issues were discussed at the Dialogue, including the use of the death penalty.
The abolition of the death penalty will continue to be a foreign policy priority for Ireland and I urge Saudi Arabia to establish an immediate moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.