Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (118, 119)

Niall Collins

Question:

118. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the efforts being made at EU level to address concerns about human rights abuses in Bahrain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21600/19]

View answer

Niall Collins

Question:

119. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has formally raised the issue of human rights abuses and the detention of human rights defenders with the Bahraini authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21601/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 118 and 119 together.

The human rights situation in Bahrain remains a matter of concern.

My Department regularly raises the issue of human rights abuses and the detention of human rights defenders with the Bahraini authorities. Most recently officials from my Department met with officials from the Bahraini Embassy in March 2019 and raised our human rights concerns directly with them.

Through our interventions at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Ireland has repeatedly raised concerns about the human rights situation in Bahrain. Ireland regularly raises the issue in our Item 4 statement on ‘human rights situations that require the Council’s attention’, most recently in September 2018 and again in February 2019.

At the most recent HRC Universal Periodic Review of Bahrain's human rights record in 2017, Ireland urged Bahrain to accept an open offer by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Bahrain.

The European External Action Service, on behalf of the EU, holds a regular informal human rights dialogue with the Bahraini authorities at which individual human rights cases are raised and concerns relayed regarding the human rights situation in the country.

My Department 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. We shall do so both directly with Bahraini officials, as well as at EU and international level, whenever opportunities arise.