Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Questions (400, 403, 410)

Niall Collins

Question:

400. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on the matters raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4199/21]

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Joan Collins

Question:

403. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will address the ongoing serious human rights violations and lack of democratic institutions in Bahrain; and if the Government demanded the release of the leader of the political opposition in Bahrain (details supplied). [4227/21]

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Michael Creed

Question:

410. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on the ongoing detention of the leader of the political opposition in Bahrain (details supplied); the efforts Ireland can make to progress their release; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4359/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 400, 403 and 410 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 regarding the health and well-being of the person in question. 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.

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 and through support to EU Statements.

Ireland also engages on the issue of human rights in Bahrain through the EU. The EU, through its Delegation in Riyadh (which is accredited to Bahrain) is monitoring the case in question along with a number of other individual cases and inquiries have been made regarding the health condition of the individual.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 case of the individual in question was raised.

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 a number of individuals including that of the person in question, 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.