19 November 2018 – Last week, over 70 members of Ireland’s Dáil Éireann (TDs) expressed serious concern over Bahrain’s suppression of civil and political society ahead of the Kingdom’s parliamentary elections in a letter to TD Simon Coveney.

In particular, the letter raised the case of Sheikh Ali Salman, a leading opposition figure recently sentenced to life in prison. The TDs called on Mr. Coveney to publicly condemn the ruling against Sheikh Ali Salman and to ask for his immediate release. They noted how Sheikh Ali’s life sentence was indicative of the Bahraini government’s steadfast commitment to silencing political dissent.

Additionally, the TDs called on TD Simon Coveney to pressure Bahrain to meet specific criteria prior to the elections on 24 November. This set of criteria included the release of political prisoners, restoring opposition societies, allowing international bodies to monitor the elections, protecting freedom of the press, and decriminalizing peaceful dissent.

Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain“We are very concerned with the extent the Bahraini government has suppressed civil and political society and targeted political opposition. But we are pleased with the growing international pressure, in particular from the members Ireland’s Dáil Éireann, calling upon the TD Simon Coveney to reach out to the Bahraini government and ensure they take the necessary steps to make these elections free and fair. We echo their calls and urge the Bahraini government to take such steps.

Click here to read a PDF of the letter.