5 December 2019 – On 30 November, Portuguese Members of Parliament (MP) Alexandra Vieira and Pedro Filipe Soares, members of the Bloco de Esquerda (BE) party, tabled two questions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Assembly of the Republic. MPs Vieira and Soares asked the Ministry to explain the Portuguese government’s current official position towards the human rights situation in Bahrain. The MPs also asked what political and diplomatic steps the Portuguese government is willing to take so that the situation in Bahrain changes.

MP Vieira (BE) and MP Soares (BE) noted that torture, unfair trials, enforced disappearances, among many other human rights violations, are rampant in Bahrain. The deputies also called attention to the abysmal conditions of Jau Prison in violation of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Their question explicitly references the cases of Sheikh Al Salman, Nabeel Rajab, Ebitsam al-Saegh, and Dr. Abduljalil AlSingace. Read the full question here.

Bloco de Esquerda is a political party that occupies the space to the left of Partido Socialista, a center-left party. In the past, it has participated in a governing coalition with the Partido Socialista. It currently has 19 of the 230 seats in the Assembly of the Republic.

This is the first time a question regarding Bahrain and its human rights violations has been asked in the Portuguese Assembly. These parliamentary questions were a result of ADHRB’s international advocacy efforts.