13 June 2019 – On Thursday 6 June, 91 members of the Irish Parliament sent a Joint Oireachtais Letter to Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, iterating their concerns for the people of Bahrain. The joint letter called upon the Irish government and its Department of Foreign Affairs to lead a joint statement at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) session later this month, condemning Bahrain’s repressive policies.

The letter highlights the Bahraini government’s intensified suppression of civil society, including by interrogating, arresting, and imprisoning dozens of human rights defenders, journalists, religious figures, and political opposition leaders. It also addressed how Bahraini officials have also undertaken an unprecedented campaign to restrict the rights of the country’s majority Shia population. The Bahraini government’s reach is vast, and goes beyond the constitutional guarantees that are supposed to protect fundamental civic, political, and religious rights.

This letter is a signal of intent from 91 of Ireland’s elected representatives, condemning the Bahraini authorities and their actions. It is imperative that Ireland reaffirms its position in the world as a key human rights defender.

Read the full letter here.