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Written Question
Bahrain: Prisoners' Release
28 Jun 2021

Questioner: Andrew Gwynne (LAB - Denton and Reddish)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the risk posed by covid-19 to prisoners in Bahrain, if he will make urgent representations to his Bahraini counterpart for the immediate release of vulnerable political prisoners with pre-existing medical conditions in that country, including (a) Hasan Mushaima, (b) Abdulhadi AlKhawaja, (c) Sheikh Ali Salman, (d) Dr Abduljalil AlSingace, (e) Abduljalil AlMuqdad and (f) Abdulwahab Husain.

Answered by James Cleverly

We regularly discuss the challenges of managing Covid-19 in prisons with senior members of the Bahraini Government, which we assess to be dealing with it effectively and in line with international norms via vaccination and other protocols. Nevertheless we continue to raise the cases of specific individuals with senior interlocutors, as well as with the independent human rights oversight bodies. We encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to raise the matter with these oversight bodies.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
28 Jun 2021

Questioner: Andrew Gwynne (LAB - Denton and Reddish)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2021 to Question 10405, whether the Government has taken steps to verify the Government of Bahrain’s assurances that medical care is provided to inmates of Jau Prison in accordance with the constitution of Bahrain.

Answered by James Cleverly

We welcome the assurances that any prisoner who falls ill has the same free access to treatment and care as any other citizen or resident in the Kingdom, and assess that that is reinforced by, for example, the absence - with one exception - of Covid-related deaths in prison. The British Ambassador and other international representatives visited Jau prison on 3 May to see the medical facilities available. We continue to monitor conditions including through our regular contact with the oversight bodies, with which we discuss health and covid-19 in prisons and which actively monitor the Covid-19 situation through inspection visits (NIHR and PDRC) and investigations into prison conditions (Ombudsman). We encourage anyone with concerns about medical treatment in prison to get in touch with the oversight bodies directly


Written Question
Bahrain: Human Rights
9 Jun 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2021 to Question 185465 on Bahrain: Political Prisoners, whether they will now answer the question put, namely, what representations he will make to his Bahraini counterpart on (a) inviting the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit and (b) allowing (i) Human Rights Watch, (ii) Amnesty International and (iii) other human rights organisations and monitoring bodies to enter Bahrain.

Answered by James Cleverly

We regularly raise human rights matters with the Government of Bahrain and continue to encourage both the Government of Bahrain and the UN to engage with each other on human rights issues. We understand that the Government of Bahrain has taken steps to engage with the United Nations, and that the Ombudsman has reached out to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, noting that they are keen to work cooperatively on concerns raised. We support and encourage all such engagement.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
8 Jun 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 750 on Bahrain: Political Prisoners, whether the UK Ambassador to Bahrain raised human rights issues on his 7 May 2021 visit to Jau Prison, including the (a) issue of political prisoners and (b) cases of (i) Sheikh Ali Salman, (ii) Abdulhaldi AlKhawaja, (iii) Hassan Mushaima and (iv) Dr Abduljalil AlSingace.

Answered by James Cleverly

As I stated in my reply of 17 May, the visit to Jau prison on 3 May enabled the UK Ambassador and other international representatives to raise human rights matters, to see the facilities at Jau prison first hand and to understand the measures implemented to counter Covid-19. We continue to raise specific cases with senior government officials in Bahrain, as well as with the Oversight bodies.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
8 Jun 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 752, on what most recent date the UK Government held discussions with its Bahraini counterparts on allowing the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture access to (a) Bahrain and (b) Jau Prison in Bahrain.

Answered by James Cleverly

The UK regularly raises human rights matters with the Government of Bahrain, including at senior levels. We continue to encourage both the Government of Bahrain and the UN to engage with each other on human rights issues.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
8 Jun 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reason the UK Ambassador to Bahrain did not meet families of Jau Prison inmates who were subject to reported (a) abuse, (b) enforced disappearance and (c) incommunicado detention in Bahrain following a reported attack by police in that prison on 17 April 2021.

Answered by James Cleverly

Activists and others we understand to be family members of Jau prison inmates came unannounced to the British Embassy in Manama on 4 May to hand over a letter. They did not ask to meet the British Ambassador.


Written Question
Bahrain: Human Rights
8 Jun 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the visit by the Rt Hon Member for Braintree to Bahrain in March 2021, whether the Government raised human rights issues during that visit, including (a) capital punishment, (b) torture, (c) political prisoners, (d) the abuse and detention of juveniles and (e) cases of individuals including (i) Mohammed Ramadhan, (ii) Husain Moosa, (iii) Hassan Mushaima, (iv) Dr Abduljalil AlSingace, (v) Abdulhadi AlKhawaja and (vi) Sheikh Ali Salman.

Answered by James Cleverly

I visited Bahrain in March 2021 to participate in the Bahrain-UK Joint Working Group. Discussions covered a range of issues, including specific human rights themes and cases.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
25 May 2021

Questioner: Lord Carlile of Berriew (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to impress upon the government of Bahrain the need to comply with international law in connection with the detention of political prisoners.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

Defending human rights and promoting democracy around the world is a core priority for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and its diplomatic network. The UK government monitors events closely and we regularly engage with senior members of the Bahraini government to discuss matters of importance, including human rights.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
21 May 2021

Questioner: John McDonnell (LAB - Hayes and Harlington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 178778, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the treatment of prisoners in Jau Prison during the covid-19 pandemic.

Answered by James Cleverly

We regularly discuss the challenges of managing Covid-19 in prisons with senior members of the Bahraini Government and continue to engage with the Government of Bahrain to support its reform agenda. 70% of prisoners are vaccinated and, since February, visits from vaccinated family members have been allowed in person.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
21 May 2021

Questioner: John McDonnell (LAB - Hayes and Harlington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 178778 Bahrain: Political Prisoners, what visits have taken place at Jau Prison during the covd-19 pandemic.

Answered by James Cleverly

We regularly discuss the challenges of managing Covid-19 in prisons with senior members of the Bahraini Government and continue to engage with the Government of Bahrain to support its reform agenda. 70% of prisoners are vaccinated and, since February, visits from vaccinated family members have been allowed in person.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
17 May 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, on what most recent date the UK Government held discussions with its Bahraini counterparts on allowing the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture access to (a) Bahrain and (b) Jau Prison in Bahrain.

Answered by James Cleverly

The UK regularly raises human rights matters with the Government of Bahrain, including at senior levels. We encourage the Government of Bahrain to engage with interested parties.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
17 May 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2021 to Question 185912 and with reference to the (a) findings of the United Nations Committee Against Torture that Bahraini oversight bodies are (i) not independent and (ii) not effective and (b) 9 April 2021 publication from Amnesty International which stated that Bahraini oversight bodies are ineffective in safeguarding human rights and punishing violations, what assessment the UK Government has made of the efficacy and independence of Bahraini oversight bodies’ investigations into the 17 April 2021 incident at Jau Prison in Bahrain.

Answered by James Cleverly

The FCDO considers a range of information regarding human rights in Bahrain, including reports by the United Nations Committee Against Torture and Amnesty International. We welcome action taken by the Ombudsman to investigate allegations, including the Ombudsman's unannounced visit to Jau prison in May 2021 and subsequent report. We continue to encourage the oversight bodies in Bahrain to carry out thorough and swift investigations into any, and all, such claims.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
17 May 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the (a) United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights’ statement that there was unnecessary and disproportionate use of force by police against inmates in Jau Prison on 17 April 2021, (b) publication from Amnesty International on 9 April 2021 which stated that authorities failed to respect minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners in Jau Prison and (c) Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy report that stated over 50 political prisoners were subjected to enforced disappearance following the 17 April 2021 police attack on Jau Prison, on what basis the UK Ambassador to Bahrain stated on 6 May 2021 that Jau Prison in Bahrain is a well-run facility.

Answered by James Cleverly

The FCDO considers a range of information regarding human rights in Bahrain. The visit to Jau prison on 3 May enabled the UK Ambassador and other international representatives to see the facilities at Jau prison first hand, understand the Covid-19 measures implemented, and raise human rights matters with the government of Bahrain. We continue to raise specific cases as and when we have concerns.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
17 May 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the visit made by the UK Ambassador to Bahrain to Jau Prison in Bahrain on 3 May 2021, whether the UK Ambassador raised issues of human rights including the (a) enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention of over 50 inmates following police violence on 17 April 2021 and (b) cases of high profile political prisoners including (i) Sheikh Ali Salman, (ii) Abdulhaldi AlKhawaja, (iii) Hassan Mushaima and (iv) Dr Abduljalil AlSingace.

Answered by James Cleverly

The FCDO considers a range of information regarding human rights in Bahrain. The visit to Jau prison on 3 May enabled the UK Ambassador and other international representatives to see the facilities at Jau prison first hand, understand the Covid-19 measures implemented, and raise human rights matters with the government of Bahrain. We continue to raise specific cases as and when we have concerns.


Written Question
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
28 Apr 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the outbreak of covid-19 at Jau Prison in Bahrain, and to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ call for the release of all prisoners of conscience due to the heightened risk posed to them in detention, what representations the Government (a) has made and (b) plans to make to the Bahraini Government on the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

Answered by James Cleverly

We regularly discuss the challenges of managing Covid-19 in prisons with senior members of the Bahraini Government. We understand there are currently no active cases of Covid within Jau Prison.