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Bahrain: Human Rights

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL11803, tabled on 26 November 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 19 November (HL11289), whether they have taken into consideration the UN Special Rapporteurs’ concerns on Bahrain for reports pertaining to (1) infringements of the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom of religion and belief, and freedom of peaceful assembly of Fadhel Sayed Abbas Hassan Radhi, Mohamed Abdul Hasan Ahmed Al Mutaghawi, Sayed Alawi Husain Alawi Husain and three other individuals, (2) violations of the rights to life, liberty and security of person, freedom from torture and ill-treatment, and right to a fair trial of Maher Abbas Yousef al-Khabbaz, and (3) cruel and degrading treatment of Nabeel Rajab at Jau Prison.

Answered on

10 December 2018

The British Government takes note of a number of sources of information on these issues; including publications by the United Nations. We continue to encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to raise them with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body. We encourage the oversight bodies in Bahrain to carry out thorough and swift investigations into any such claims.

The noble Lord will recall that the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Alistair Burt, expressed his concerns on the sentence given to Mr Rajab in his written statement of 21 February. He also reiterated the UK's call for Bahrain to protect freedom of expression for all its citizens, in line with international obligations. Our Embassy in Bahrain has closely monitored the trials of Mr Rajab and officials regularly attend Mr Rajab's court hearings, including the handing down of the latest appeal verdict. We have raised the case at senior levels as part of the UK's ongoing open dialogue with Bahrain. I am aware that there is now an opportunity for Mr Rajab's legal team to apply for an appeal through the judicial system. My officials will continue to monitor the case closely.

The UK’s position on the use of the death penalty is longstanding and clear. We oppose its use in all circumstances and countries. The Government of Bahrain are fully aware of our position.