Four different Irish Deputies were able to address the Foreign Minister directly about the ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain as well as the case of Dr Abduljalil Alsingace. On Tuesday 30th, Deputy Brendan Griffin who is a representative of the Fine Gael party, asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views in relation to the Human Rights Violations in Bahrain. Deputy John Brady from Sinn Féin then asked the reason for silence from the government on the issue of Bahrain at the most recent UN Human Rights Council. Minister Simon Coveney answered these questions together, highlighting the importance of Human rights in Irish Foreign policy as well as the contribution that that the Republic of Ireland make on an EU level. He cited the most recent EU-Bahrain Human rights dialogue in February 2021 where the Irish delegation did raise issues of concern with the Bahraini authorities. Minister Coveney also stated that, “ Officials from my Department have raised concerns over the human rights situation in Bahrain directly with the Bahraini authorities, including the specific case of Dr. Abduljalil Alsingace” and that “Ireland will continue to monitor developments in Bahrain, and call on the Bahraini Government to deliver on its stated commitment to make progress in relation to human rights.”
On Wednesday 1st December, the Minister of Foreign Affairs faced further questions regarding Bahrain. Deputy Paul Murphy, who represents the political party; People Before Profit-solidarity explicitly asked if the Minister would introduce a resolution at the Human Rights Council addressing ongoing human rights violations. After this, Deputy Catherine Murphy, standing for the Social Democrats, asked if Mr Coveney had engaged with his Bahraini counterpart about growing concerns of human rights violations. Again, Mr Coveney answered the questions together with a similar response. He stated that “we consistently seek to raise our concerns on human rights issues through the most appropriate and effective channels.”
This is a promising step in the right direction as Bahrain continues to rise in the Irish Foreign Affairs agenda. The four Deputies are consistently raising the issue and by extension placing increasing pressure on the Irish government to take action against the atrocious abuses being committed by the Bahraini government.