Written answers

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Human Rights

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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194. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the steps that Ireland has taken to address human rights violations in Bahrain at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva; the actions that have been taken to call for the release of political prisoners in Bahrain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57160/22]

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.

Officials from my Department have raised concerns over the human rights situation in Bahrain directly with the Bahraini authorities, including the detention of political prisoners and conditions in prisons.

Ireland also engages on the issue of human rights in Bahrain as a member of the European Union. At the most recent EU-Bahrain Human Rights Dialogue on 27 October 2022, issues of concern raised by the EU included freedom of expression, prison conditions, right to a fair trial, and the death penalty. The EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, has made representations to the Bahraini authorities on the detention of a number of individuals.

At the most recent Universal Periodic Review of Bahrain at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 7 November 2022, Ireland urged Bahrain to uphold freedom of religion and belief for all persons including members of the Shia community; we regretted the reintroduction of the death penalty in 2017 following a moratorium of several years; and we urged Bahrain to carry out independent and prompt investigations into all allegations of torture or other forms of ill-treatment and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

We also recommended the immediate release of all individuals who have been arbitrarily arrested, and for the creation of a safe and enabling environment for civil society organisations and human rights defenders.

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


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