A member of the Dáil Éireann, Seán Haughey TD, put forward a written question to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, regarding the current situation of human rights and democracy in Bahrain and what Ireland is doing to address it. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) welcomes this parliamentary question and thanks Deputy Haughey for bringing attention to the ongoing human rights abuses and the plight of human rights defenders and political activists in Bahrain.
Find here the PDF version of the question
Deputy Haughey asked the Minister:
“…if Ireland is supportive of the promotion of democracy and basic human rights in Bahrain; if Ireland can advance these objectives through the membership of the EU and the UN Security Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter.”
In his response to Deputy Haughey’s question, Minister Simon Coveney stated that “[r]espect for human rights is an integral part of Ireland’s foreign policy” and that “[t]he human rights situation in Bahrain remains a matter of serious concern”. Furthermore, Minister Coveney noted that “[a]lthough Bahrain has repeatedly stated its commitment to improving its human rights record and safeguarding human rights as enshrined in the Bahraini Constitution, we [Ireland] 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”. Minister Coveney also noted that Ireland currently “engages on the issue of human rights in Bahrain through the European Union” and that at the EU-Bahrain Human Rights Dialogue, chaired by the EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore, “[a] number of issues of concern were raised with Bahrain at the forum, including rule of law, prison conditions, right to a fair trial, freedom of expression, freedom of association, death penalty, torture, and the impact of Covid-19 on the human rights situation”. He also stated that Ireland has raised concerns on the human rights situtaion in the UN Human Rights Council.
Minister Coveney concluded his answer to the parliamentary questions by stating that “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.”