Thursday, 14 January 2021

Questions (104, 105, 108, 110)

Niall Collins

Question:

104. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1968/21]

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Brendan Howlin

Question:

105. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied); if this case has been raised with the Bahrain authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1969/21]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

108. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has raised the case of a person (details supplied) in Bahrain either multilaterally or bilaterally with Bahraini Government officials; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2023/21]

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Joe O'Brien

Question:

110. Deputy Joe O'Brien asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied) who it is alleged has been detained without due process and tortured by the government of Bahrain; if he and his colleagues in the EU Foreign Affairs Council have raised this with Bahraini officials; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2039/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 105, 108 and 110 together.

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.

I note with concern reports that the person in question has been tortured and their current whereabouts are unknown. Ireland urges all States to safeguard the human rights of prisoners and detainees as set out in the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, also known as the Mandela rules.

Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs have raised this case directly with the Bahraini authorities.

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. Our active participation at the UN Human Rights Council is particularly important in that regard. Ireland has raised the human rights issues in Bahrain at the Human Rights Council in the form of national statements through support to EU Statements.

Ireland also engages on the issue of human rights in Bahrain through the EU. At the most recent informal EU-Bahrain Human Rights dialogue in November 2019, issues discussed included the right to a fair trial, prison conditions, and the overall human rights situation in the country. The EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, has also made representations to the Bahraini authorities on human rights issues, including the detention of human rights defenders as well as the conditions of their detention.

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.